Favorite line quiz by Deb Meredith

I love to reread books, especially when I’m sick. My favorites are like old friends, and when I read the familiar words I feel comforted and comfortable. My copies of Pride and Prejudice, The Secret Garden, and The Secret of Chimneys (Agatha Christie) all look worn out and well-loved.

One of the best things for me about becoming a parent is getting to reread my favorite children’s books again. My son has a big library since my mother and I can’t resist buying him books. My husband says that he has too many books. But I wonder if such a thing is possible. Okay, okay, our shelves are bursting, so we end up going to the library a lot when we need something new to read. But in my opinion, a house without books is a desert indeed.

Children’s book publishing is a big business these days, and some of the books are quite bizarre. There are the surreal ones written for a children’s brain and tendency to magical thinking (I would put In the Night Kitchen in this category), the lecturing ones written for adults to make them feel like they’re teaching a kid something (Potty training books and no hitting/biting books, etc.), hilarious ones that both children and adults enjoy, strange ones that have cars and trucks with faces on them, and really boring books based on TV shows.

So if you have a kid in your life (or just remember being one), I’ve created a little test for you of some of my favorite lines in kids books. See how many of them you can identify (extra points for author), and I’ll post the answers in the comment section tomorrow.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

A) “He always said that she could dig as much in a day as a hundred men could dig in a week, but he had never been quite sure that this was true.”

B) “Pup is up, Brown is down. Mr. Brown is out of Town.”

C) “Step on the gas, bunny rabbit!”

D) “Up they go to the top of the tree. Why? Will they work there? Will they play there? What is up there on top of that tree?”

E) “First she knocked the lamp down, then she felled some chairs. Then she took her brother’s kite and flew it down the stairs.”

F) “I’m in the milk and the milk’s in me, God bless the milk and God bless me.”

G) “He slid down a coal chute and got the dirtiest of all. In fact, he changed from a white dog with black spots, to a black dog with white spots.”

H) “What kind of story would you like to hear?” said Mother Bear. “Tell me about me,” said Little Bear. “Tell me about things I once did.”

11 Replies to “Favorite line quiz by Deb Meredith”

  1. Mike Mulligan! I’m also a big re-reader. My Mom gave me the books from my old Weekly Reader book club in the 1970’s. Harry the Dirty Dog and Gus the Ghost. I love those books. I searched used bookstores for years to find a copy of Mr. Pudgins – a Mary Poppins style babysitter whose smoking pipe always meant fun trouble for the kids. I still read “Good Old Archibald!” and “The Bad Times of Irma Baumlein” when I feel low. Irma stole a store mannequin because she’d told her friends she had the world’s biggest doll with “cerulean blue” eyes. I’ll never forget that word, cerulean.

    I even re-read my adult books. In fact, just last week I took out severl Dell Shannon Luiz Mendoza crime books from the 1960s. And I always return to Evanovich.

    Happy Thanksgiving!


  2. My kid’s library must be completely different than yours, because these don’t ring a bell! Though they sound great.

    What’s funny to me is that I mentally edit my kids’ books. My daughter is currently infatuated with a Sesame Street Christmas book which is told in rhyme, but the rhyming is really awkward and clumsy, so I actually will change the lines as I read to make them sound better.

    Also, I have strong opinions about which of their books I love, and why. The original Thomas the Tank Engine books — not the modern ones based on the TV show, but the old school ones — are wonderful! They have plot arcs, and distinct characters, funny dialogue, and there might be a subtle message but they’re not at all preachy. If my son is indecisive about his bedtime story, I often nudge him toward Thomas…

  3. I’m breaking away from the festivities (celebrating my son’s birthday today–so many toys!) to check in. Yes, there’s a Mike Mulligan, Harry the Dirty Dog and a Little Bear in there. Good job!

    Kim–Mr. Pudgins sounds great. Have you tried searching on-line? So many used bookstores put their inventory on-line and my step-mother was finally able to locate some of her childhood favorites.

    Laramie–I’m hoping to have more shelves soon to deal with my addiction.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  4. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    Here are the answers to the quiz:

    a)Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel – a classic about a man who loves his steam shovel (despite the fact that Mary Ann is quite out of date) and their triumphant tale of digging the cellar to the new town hall in just one day.

    b)Hop on Pop – Dr. Seuss – a genius of a writer. This particular book is good for first readers. Very funny.

    c) Cars and Trucks and Things that Go – by Richard Scarry – One of my favorites. Every page contains ridiculous cars and events, and an elusive goldbug you have to find.

    d) Go Dog Go! – I think this was the first book I ever read on my own. My son loves it.

    e) Noisy Nora by Rosemary Wells – all about the trials and tribulations of being a middle child.

    f) In the Night Kitchen – strange but somehow compelling, too. Written like a dream, but not as scary as some of the Maurice Sendak books.

    g) Harry the Dirty Dog – A dog’s point of view of baths. Also great is Harry by the Sea.

    h) Little Bear – this one a few of you got!

    Thanks for playing!

  5. Oh, how did I miss “Go Dog Go!” We have that one, and were just reading it recently.

    Meredith, our kids are not only nearly the same age, but nearly the same birthday. My big boy’s birthday is Tuesday.

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