This week, baby joined the library and got her first ever library card.
So, we put it to good use and got mummy some books to critique for your amusement. I assumed she wouldn’t mind.
In amongst the treasures of half-chewed, mysteriously stained board books, we found the delight that is Panda’s Pyjamas.
The front cover states it’s ‘a gentle rhyming story for bedtime’. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure what the difference is between a gentle and an un-gentle rhyming story. Do aggressively rhyming books bash you round the head as you read them? Or is it that baby books are littered with harsh, sweary rhymes? Who the hell knows. But let’s read this gentle story anyway.
What is it about?
A strawberry blonde boy with an afro (or a really odd-shaped head) and his tired teddy close their eyes on a carpet and fly off to a far-away wonderland.
This land comprises of a panda in a tee-pee, a well-dressed leopard in a tree (who later turns into a tiger – great continuity), spotted elephants and a happy whale. Nice little wonderland if you ask me.
Boy and teddy meet Panda when they arrive and find that she really wants to go to bed. But she can’t.
Why? Too much stimulation? Noise pollution? A high intake of caffeinated products?
Nope. Because she can’t find any pyjamas, of course.
Now, I wasn’t aware that pandas required pyjamas, but you know what, I also hate sleeping naked so I sympathise. If she doesn’t want to be nude in her little tee-pee, then I’m all for this PJ hunt.
Where do we look?
So where does one find PJs for a Panda? you may ask.
I’d probably start at a supermarket, or pet store, or maybe even a zoo. But boy and teddy have a better idea.
They go hunting for the very, very rare Jim-Jam plant. Yes, the f***ing ridiculous Jim-Jam plant.
And they find it. A gigantic tree absolutely covered in a wide variety of decorated Jim-Jams.
Aren’t we, as parents, supposed to be teaching our children that money doesn’t grow on trees? You can’t just have what you want on demand as you have to work for it and earn it. But this kid just plucks PJs off a tree for his panda friend. He could pluck many an outfit for many a panda judging by the size of the tree.
No, I’m not having this. No wonder my daughter feels like she can freely crap her way through an assortment of night outfits that we constantly have to throw out. She probably thinks we just pop out to the nearest Jim-Jam tree and pick up a fresh pair. What a joke!
Panda ends up with a gorgeous stripey set and gives the boy a hug for the privilege. Cheeky little madam – because realistically, she could have gone out and got them herself. Although that does remind me of a reoccurring nightmare I have when I have to go out naked looking for clothes… but that’s not really applicable to a panda. It all just reeks of laziness and greed. I have a right mind to demand a re-write of the entire story, whereby Panda decides to go get her own damn pyjamas and she pops to Primark to pick out a cheap pair as she’s slightly strapped for cash this month due to the price of bamboo rising thanks to Brexit.
That’s a story I feel confident reading my daughter.
But instead, boy and teddy toddle off home and go to sleep once they’ve got their selfish Panda-friend all tucked up. Exciting stuff.
These baby stories ask us not only to suspend our disbelief for all of 2 minutes (they are really quick to get through) but to also teach our children the weirdest things. Where is the tale of the tiger who completes his tax return on time? Or the monkey who saves his cash in a Help to Buy ISA for 3 years and is able to secure a mortgage shortly after?
It can’t be that hard to make the grown-up world entertaining.