Friday, January 2, 2009

Bookmonster Babs--A New Celebration for Our Times

One of my holiday gifts this year was The Future Dictionary of America. This book was created in 2004 through a collaboration of more than 200 American authors, artists, and musicians. (A CD is included.) It consists of words and ideas that these authors invented or modified to fit the world as they imagine it will be sometime in the future. Much of it is political with a definite and intentional progressive bent, but some of it is just future thinking that should appeal to all political perspectives.

Dictionaries are difficult to read cover to cover. They have no plot. I have not yet read every entry but I have skipped around to find myriad interesting and humorous ideas. My favorite entry of all that I have read so far appears in the middle of the 'B's and was written by Anne Ursu, an author I have never before encountered.

"Bookmonster Babs," the entry says, is "a mythological creature who delivers presents of books to children every year on the anniversary of their first read word." Think on that! Isn't it a wonderful idea. This anniversary is known as the child's "Wordversary."

The first day you actually begin to read is certainly worth celebrating for the rest of your life--not just for children as is suggested in this definition. I don't remember the exact date that I begin to read, but I do vaguely remember the excitement of that moment for me. I certainly remember the excitement when each of my daughters sounded out their first words.

Bookmonster Babs is described as "a five-foot tall, purple-furred, eggplant-shaped monster with magical yellow boots." She delivers her books around the world, flying in "a spherical silver hovercraft". On their Wordversary, children write a book that they leave out for Babs to enjoy. This book contains drawings and stories created by the child. Children also create Wordversary songs to help welcome Babs.

I am hereby proposing that we all unite to make this special celebration a reality. I learned on Christmas Day that my grand Grand-niece Elise is now a reader. I don't know the exact date of her Wordversary, but I am putting a couple of books in the mail for her tomorrow. Until Bookmonster Babs shows her purple furry face, that will have to do.

Happy Wordversary, Elise.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a...rather nice idea. ;)