God only knows what I did to deserve this, but both of my kids love books. We read a lot together, and in addition to being heartwarming as hell, it reassures me that those incessant '80s literacy commercials were not in vain. "See, Captain OG Readmore, anthropomorphic puppet cat? I'm still reading! I DIDN'T LET YOU DOWN, GOOD SIR!" is an actual thing I have occasionally thought. And said out loud to my husband. And -- upon seeing his confusion and possible alarm -- sighed, exasperatedly trying to convince him that the good captain was NOT an imaginary friend, but a real (well, cartoon?), reading-obsessed and possibly drunk cat in maritime getup. ("Books were his catnip, J! DON'T YOU SEE?") Very little about the situation made sense, but damned if he wasn't real, is what I'm saying.
I was reading Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus to the kids on Sunday, and my friend -- who was visiting -- gave me a look of surprise. "That is NOT how the pigeon sounds," she said. "My pigeon voice is much more squeaky." I had never really thought about this before; in my mind the pigeon voice just IS, and what it is, it seems, is a Joe Pesci/Gilbert Gottfried hybrid.
I then had a Usual Suspects moment, reeling around at the bookshelf, as it hit me: I have unwittingly assigned extremely specific and distinct celebrity (and "celebrity") voices to the main characters in pretty much every single book I read to my kids: Pinkalicious, for instance, sounds like Snooki, Sam I Am of Green Eggs and Ham fame sounds like Jon Lovitz, and his unnamed counterpart, like Mr. Snuffleupagus. Amelia Bedelia is Carol Kane, in anything. The Caps for Sale peddler is Al Pacino in Scarface. And the little boy in The Giving Tree sounds like whatever an awful, terrible sociopath-in-training sounds like, because that is exactly what he is. (Stop making me read that book, kids! It is the worst!)
I'm fervently hoping this practice is a lot more common than I suspect it to be. Feel free to reassure me. If you need me, I'll be over here, reading The Berenstain Bears, and making Mama Bear sound like Jackée from 227 (a la Jen Haley). And -- if we're being honest -- watching old Captain OG Readmore clips.