Name that ’Toon: Postscript

We went to the beach this weekend and June got her first taste of Funland on Saturday afternoon. I was pretty sure she was ready for the tamer rides—the boats that sedately circle a mermaid, the fire engines that go a bit faster and maybe a few others. Well, she rode the boats, the fire engines, the airplanes, the cars, the merry-go-round, everything Noah rode at her age and she even wanted to go up in the kiddie Ferris wheel. I was uncertain—it goes about twenty feet into the air. But Beth said she thought she’d be all right if we sent Noah up in it with her and sure enough, she was. She looked very serious on each ride and when they were finished she always knew exactly what she wanted to do next, down to the color of the vehicle she wanted to ride. As we watched her glide through the air, just above our heads in the airplanes, I said to Beth, “She’s thinking, ‘I am just like Maisy.’”

For those of you who don’t know Maisy, she’s a very adventurous white mouse and the protagonist of such titles as Maisy Drives the Bus, Maisy’s Fire Engine and Vroom Vroom, Maisy ( My point is she gets around, and June, who is also a girl on the go, adores Maisy. Almost as soon as I’d said it I realized I done it myself, compared her to a cartoon character. (We mostly know Maisy from books, but she has television show, too.) To make matters worse, I had compared her to mouse, not even a human girl.

As we prepared to leave the beach Sunday afternoon, June and I stood outside the motel’s outdoor shower waiting for Beth to emerge. June was freshly showered and her hair hung in damp ringlets. A maid pushed her cleaning cart out of a first floor room and came over to say hi to June. She told me she looked “just like Shirley Temple.”

I guess that had to happen sooner or later. I think I heard that at least once a week until I was fourteen or so. I hated it. What self-respecting tomboy would want to look like this ( On the other hand, Shirley Temple was a real girl and she did grow up to be an ambassador so maybe we are making progress here.

Meanwhile, my good friend Joyce raised an interesting question in the comments of the original poll. Who does Noah remind me of? Well, the reason I wrote about this in the first place was that no-one has ever told me Noah reminds him or her of a cartoon character (human or mouse) or a famous child-actor from the 1930s or any fictional character at all so this accumulation of associations attached to June struck me as funny. But since Joyce asked, I tried to think of something… and I came up blank. I asked Beth and her answer was good enough so that I felt I didn’t need to come up my own answer. I will just elaborate on hers. We choose Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes ( because of his imagination and his penchant for making up over-complicated games. (Does anyone remember Calvinball? The rules change constantly, at the players’ whim. Noah would love it.) I would add that Noah has had an imaginary mouse friend since he was three and that Calvin’s hair, while not exactly curly, has the unruly charm of Noah’s hair. Finally, we’ll throw in a dash of Linus from Peanuts, ( for his thumb-sucking and his intellectualism combined with some rather fanciful beliefs. (Think the Great Pumpkin.)

Of course, they are real kids and I have to agree with the woman on the bus today who told me I have “beautiful children,” regardless of what cartoon characters they may evoke. But if you have any more ideas, feel free to post them. It’s summer and a little frivolity never hurt anyone.