Sooooooo I gave this awesome little book to my nephew for his 8th birthday yesterday and apparently he LOVED it! My brother said that he read it last night when they got home and this morning as soon as he woke up. AWESOME! You may be wondering why I am so excited he liked, nay loved this book. Well I shall tell you my dear ones.
It all started on the night of November 16, 2009 (I remember the day because I have the receipt in front of me for a return). After finishing the amazing book Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson I decided to see if I could purchase some of his other literary masterpieces. Being the wonderful, awesome and adorable person that I am I obviously couldn't wait for the books to be shipped to me so I decided to go to the uber expensive book shop known as Barnes and Noble.
Whilst perusing the SciFi/Fantasy shelves for some much needed reading material I thought about what I was going to get my little buddy for his birthday which was coming up in less than 3 days. Normally I take my nephew to a movie and lunch for his birthday. Sort of like a aunt and nephew date. It's a lot of fun but now that he's getting older I really wanted to give him something that brings me a lot of joy and pleasure (that's what she said) in the hopes that he could learn to love it just as much as I do. I also wanted to help steer him away from the TV and the hoards of video games he had requested for his birthday/Christmas. Anyway, I thought that since I was already at a book store why not look around and see if I can find anything he might like. It was a lot harder than it sounded. I have no idea what his reading level is nor do I know what kind of books he enjoys, if any. Long story short, I spent 45 minutes panicking over what to buy him. Should I go with a comic book on action heroes? Should I pick up this mystery or would it be too scary for him? Or should I get him this adventure book that looks like it might be way past his reading level? What the hell is his reading level? etc. etc. etc.
After freaking out for like ever, I happened upon this adorable book by Cressida Cowell called How to Be a Pirate. What first caught my eye were the characters' names. Things like Dogsbreath, Duhbrain, Snotlout and, of course, Hiccup Horrendous. I knew instantly that my nephew would enjoy the book solely because of the names and I could picture him giggling each time he read them. Secondly, I noticed the illustrations. They were doodles like kids would draw which made me think he might like it even more and could relate to it a little better. Needless to say I picked it up immediately and went on my merry way, thinking and dreaming of his excitement when he'd unwrap his gift.
When I got home I got a call from my brother asking if he could stop by to show me his new car Vedder Avett (named after his two favorite musicians: Eddie Vedder and the Avett Brothers). He said he needed to stop by his house and pick up my niece and nephew and then he'd be over in a few minutes which really meant like 45. I knew I had a while to wait so I decided to read some of Ryan's book to make sure I really had bought a good book for him. I read two chapters myself and then read them over again out loud to my mom because it was just so stinkin' funny and adorable. Seriously. I was contemplating buying them for myself .......uhhh....... I mean my future kids, yeah (ahem). It was just so much fun to read and the author does these little side notes that are just hilarious. And yeah, I think I'm in love.
A while later I heard my brother honking for me outside. I grabbed my coat and ran out to see this very beautiful and stylish Buick Lesabre (hahahahahahahaha). I got in and we were off, driving up into the upper aves while my brother told me about all the nifty gadgets his old man's car had and then demonstrated said gadgets. It was fun until my nephew decided to tell me what he wanted for his birthday. He listed off a bunch of different Nintendo DDS (or whatever, I don't care) games he wanted. I told him thanks but that I had already bought his gift. He asked what it was and after I told him it was a surprise he said... "Well I want a different present". I'm sure that to many of you it's not a big deal. That he's just acting his age. Blah, blah, blah. I was pretty hurt and then angry about it. Here was my sweet little buddy who had never acted this way before and he was now demanding that I get him a different present just because it's not one of the many games he just asked for? Ridiculous. He and my niece are already pretty spoiled and it just bugged me that he was acting the way he was. I mean bloody hell, I had just spent 45 minutes looking for the thing because I wanted to make sure that what I got for him he was going to like, a lot.
A few minutes later my brother dropped me off at home apologizing for the way Ryan was acting. I was really worried. Not necessarily about whether Ryan would like it or not, I knew he would even if he was being a brat. But I was worried that he would turn into a stuck up snob who would have hissy fits if he didn't get exactly what he wanted. I was worried he'd end up like Dudley Dursley who threw a fit in the first HP book because he had less presents than he got the year before. Never mind that quite a few of them were more expensive and bigger than the ones he previously had, he was set on having more no matter what. And that, explain horribly, is what I was most worried about. To me, my favorite presents have always been the ones that had more meaning or sentimental value. The ones where someone was listening to me ramble about something I liked and took note of it. I love that and wanted Ryan to learn to love that too. So I decided that if his attitude hadn't changed by the time he opened the present then I was going to have a nice little chat with him about whats really important (and by nice a do mean nice. I am not a mean person and I find that when giving a life lesson to kids the best way to do it is by conversing with them, nicely).
Anyway, his birthday party got pushed back to yesterday and I was really started to get nervous about what he'd think. And, he loved it. I read the first two chapters to him and my niece before they left and he made sure to tell me that he wanted the other books in the series for Christmas. Done and done buddy, done and done.
So yes, I am a muchos happy Aunt right now.