Look what I bid on tonight on eBay!
Yes, that’s right, it’s RUPERT BEAR! Just looking at that book to me takes me back to being about five, because that was one of my first books ever. And I loved the Rupert Bear annuals. My sister and I got a new one every year for Christmas, and I absolutely adored them. So because I am now expecting, I’m watching eBay and Amazon UK for new-to-me copies of my childhood books – most of which were lost in the Great Flood of ’90.
Rupert Bear. This is an English import, of course. Because I grew up in the English quadrant of Victoria, with a British father and an Anglophile mother, I got a lot of British kiddie lit from the bookstore in the local village, which imported these sort of things from the UK. I got the Ladybird Learn to Read books, starring Peter and Jane. I got Enid Blyton’s Noddy series (complete with politically incorrect gollywogs). I even got the occasional Beano or Dandy annual. I also had a couple dozen old books from the 1940s and 1950s, hand-me-downs from my half-siblings and their mother. And, of course, I had many Beatrix Potter and Babar books – Babar may be French, not English, but he is still obviously awesome.
So, even though my child (whatever it is) won’t be able to read for a few years (I read at two, thanks to the Ladybird books), I want it to have the same books I did. Hence, a spree of searching for Rupert Bear on sale in other Commonwealth countries. Of course, I also bet that by the time the kid is old enough to read, it pronounces Rupert Bear “totally gay”.