October 17, 2008

Jumpy Jack and Googily


This is a new read-aloud favorite for my daughter and I.  It's this light and goofy little tale in which Jumy Jack, the large snail, is afraid there might be a "monster" at every turn and his friendly but put-upon large, hairy sharp-toothed friend Googily checks to make sure things are safe and allay his fears.

Great book.  Check it out.

Now here's the weird thing.  I love reading out loud.  And I'm no Jim Dale, but I like to do different voices.  I don't sing or do puppets, but I'm happy doing funny voices.  The problem with this book is that Googily's voice just came to me from I-don't-know-where.  I have certain "stock" voices.  The Nerdy Shlub.  The Little Old Lady.  The Obnoxious Kid.  The Sweet Kid.  The Old Jewish Man. The Creepy Whispery Bad Guy.  The British Voice.  The New Yawk Voice, etc, etc.

Googily's voice was like that thing when you hear a celebrity voice-over on a commercial and you just know that you know it, but can't quite place it.  But it came out of me, for crying out loud!  It took days and I even started doing the voice for people, asking if they knew it.  They all said it was recognizable, but they couldn't quite place it either.

My daughter doesn't care, she just loves it and won't let anyone read it to her because of the voice.  My wife gives me a hard look if I do that dang voice too long after the book closes.

Finally, my partner teacher said, "It sounds like Marlon Brando in The Godfather."  Yes!  But not quite.  There was another element there.  It's like Brando's godfather with a little W.C Fields thrown in.  "Oh, Jumpy Jack, you've really gone too fah," he says instead of "far."  "Nothing ovah heah or heah," he reassures Jumpy Jack, instead of "over" and "here."

Weird.  But funny.