Trains, Monkeys, and cats who think they are Chihuahuas

by on October 11th, 2012
Trains, Monkeys, and cats who think they are Chihuahuas Cover Image

When I was asked to be a guest blogger for the library I was thrilled. Frankly, I think the Iowa City Public Library (ICPL) is one of my favorite Iowa City jewels. It’s a place that exists with the sole purpose of feeding my soul with words, pictures, and music. How could I not love it? I can’t tell you how many times my wife has chuckled at me when I state that I have library “materials” to return. But truly the library isn’t just a place for me to explore books and ideas. It’s also a place to try new music and watch movies that I might not otherwise have been exposed to. Once over the shock of being asked to write this, I started going over the long list of cool obscure jazz and electronic CDs the library has; the amazing comic trades that I have been reading; or the many great black and white musicals I watched the summer my son was born. Then I was struck by what the library offers my son.

We all, as adults, take for granted the experience we have when we go to a coffee shop or local pub to meet people and have fun. For little people there really aren’t that many places to meet a new friend and enjoy so many good times over trains. My son and his best friend, Mose, have regular play dates at the library and it is always met with great celebration. To be truthful, we can’t drive towards downtown without the prospect of going to the library coming up. ICPL provides not only a great space but a great collection of toys for Hamish and Mose. If you have never seen the wonder of a 3 year old playing with Thomas trains, you really should try it. Whenever a new child shows up we get to practice sharing by taking a train over to them.

The massive collection of puzzles is beyond astonishing to Hamish. Many times, the puzzles are just so tempting that they won’t even make it out of the library before they have to be solved.

The kitchen is simply heaven as Hamish runs from table to table making sure everyone has tea.

To top it all off, the ICPL is where he discovered two favorite series of books. The first being the Five Little Monkeys. The Five Little Monkeys have taught him not to jump on the bed, how to sell a car, and how best to celebrate Mama’s birthday. The second is Skippyjon Jones. Skippy is one hip cat who thinks that he is a Chihuahua. This hip dude with a great sense of song has taken Hamish on a trip down the Nile and to outer space. ICPL is also where he discovered the love of Bugs Bunny on the Golden Collection. Watching my son’s wonderment while we watched the Three Little Bops together for the first time will always be one of my favorite memories of his childhood.

In the future, I will submit something about Neu! or John Coltrane. But today, I tip my hat to trains, puzzles, plastic food, Five Little Monkeys, Skippyjon Jones, and Bugs Bunny.

The Iowa City Public Library is pleased to welcome Kylie Buddin to its blog. Guest Blogger Kylie Buddin is an Iowa City native. He has been an active member of the Iowa City music scene since 1982. He also works with young people at United Action for Youth in music programming.

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