The Washington Post

Smurfs, Muppets, Seuss and Sendak, bring them on

It may be sad to admit, but I’m looking forward to some upcoming children’s movies and books far more than my daughters are.

I find myself watching trailers for “The Smurfs” and “The Muppets” while the kids are asleep. I know I’ll be the one begging for us to read and re-read the new Maurice Sendak and Dr. Seuss books.

These soon-to-be-released marvels are, of course, marketed to me more than to my children. My older one asked me incredulously “What is that?” when I YouTubed an old Smurfs episode for her. It occurred to me that at 4 she is far more discerning with media than I was at twice her age.

Anybody else remember wasting hours and hours in front of really junky TV? I used to watch the Muppet Babies, which makes Dancing With the Stars look like La Boheme.

Our children, used to the articulate and ever-cheery Elmo, will probably find the “smurfy” language in July’s “Smurfs,” nonsensical. They will likely think Kermit, in the fall-scheduled “the Muppets,” is too angsty.

I do hope my children will connect with the new Sendak and Dr. Seuss. The classics “Where the Wild Things Are,” (Harper & Row, 1963) and “Oh the Places You’ll Go,” (Random House, 1990), are now in their bedtime book roster. If not their favorites, those books are not offensive to them either. I know it’s me who appreciates their depth far more than they do, or as I did as a child.

Consider this from “Oh the Places You’ll Go”:

“So be sure when you step/ Step with care and great tact /

And remember that Life’s / a Great Balancing Act./

Just never forget to be / dexterous and deft/

And never mix up your right foot with your left.”

In Sept., Random House will publish posthumously the “The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories,” a collection of stories written by Theodor “Seuss” Geisel in 1950 and 1951.

Also that month, HarperCollins will publish the new Sendak, “Bumble-Ardy.” It kills two nostalgia birds with one stone because it’s based on a 70s-era Sesame Street skit about a pig’s birthday party.

Bring it on. It doesn’t matter if the kids are bored, I’ll be the one buying.

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