Oh, I wish I were like Ruby…

Ruby from the “Max & Ruby” show that is. For those who’ve never seen the show, which is based on the books written by Rosemary Wells, and made by Canadian Nelvana (shown on Noggin and Nickelodeon channel) – Max and Ruby are (bunny) siblings, Max is supposed to be about three years old, and Ruby, his older sister, is seven.

Max & Ruby live in a cute little cottage, but weirdly enough, all by themselves (which made my son somewhat concerned at one point and he wanted to know what happened to their parents). Max is a typical three-year-old boy (I mean, bunny) and likes to get into mischief. Every time he does something naughty, Ruby, in her signature sing-songy voice says “Ma-ax!” and then very patiently explains to him that he should stop his mischief and do something else instead. It is hard to explain her tone of voice, so if you’ve never seen the show, just watch the second episode on http://crackle.com/c/Short_Films/Max_and_Ruby/1936369. (fast forward to 8:00).

Watch it carefully… When Max brings a noisy toy to the room the first time, all she tells him is “You need a quiet toy to play with” and redirects him to a puzzle (9:07). Then, when Max brings another noisy toy to the room while she’s on the phone with a friend and is dying to learn a secret her friend promised to tell her, again, even then, all she says is “Max! I can’t hear Louise’s secret. Loud toys go outside. Come on. Let’s go.” without a shade of anger in her voice. (10:33) Similar scene repeats two times, as Max flies a toy a helicopter into the room (11:52) and sends in a toy talking parrot (13:20). Despite all that, Ruby never loses her cool and yells at Max. I am full of admiration for her. I don’t know how she does it… (other than being a cartoon bunny, that is)

Mad Scientist for a Child

At the suggestion of an excellent librarian working in the children’s section at our local library my son has been reading the Franny K. Stein Mad Scientist series, by Jim Benton.

He generally reads to himself but asked me to read to him a bit at bedtime so I did. When we came across the following paragraph in the Attack of the 50-Ft. Cupid

Franny’s mom … might not have chosen to have a mad scientist for a daughter, but that’s what Franny was.

my son asked “Mom, what would you do if I became a mad scientist?”

I answered “Well, you kind of are a mad scientist already, aren’t you?” and gave him a kiss. He smiled. (He has just finished playing with Ooze: The World’s Slimiest Science Kit made by Be Amazing Toys. By the way, Growing Tree Toys has a much better page for this product, with a picture that you can enlarge to see it better.)

We didn’t talk about the paragraph that followed:

And since that’s what Franny was, her mom had spent a lot of time trying to learn about mad scientists.”

I love this paragraph — it rings so familiar!

But my son wouldn’t understand if I tried to explain to him why I like this sentence so much. He doesn’t have any idea how much time I’ve spent already trying to learn about him. And I’m nowhere near being done.

I think I’ll read the other books in the series too.