Ten years ago, when my son was eight years old, our family welcomed a sweet Cavalier King Charles Spaniel into our home. But, like the royal baby, our new arrival spent a few days without a name. We wanted it to fit.
Around the same time, I discovered a new picture book: Arnie the Doughnut by Laurie Keller. As crazy as this sounds, the book made me cry. If you’ve seen Arnie the Doughnut, you know that wasn’t the author’s intent. It’s funny and clever and charming, but by the last page, my eyes were all welled up, and the pictures appeared blurry. Right away, I read it to my son, and when we reached the last page, our dog had a name! Here is our Arnie:
Only once, during the nine year’s of Arnie’s life, did we meet someone who automatically made the connection between his name and Keller’s book, but…..at school it was part of the library curriculum. I read Arnie the Doughnut to students every year and would explain that the book was the inspiration for our dog’s name. A reading of Arnie the Doughnut always concluded by looking at the most recent funny pictures of Arnie – the beauty of cell phones as an educational tool!
Arnie died last year and we still miss him, but….the other day, in a delivery of new school library books, was one I was particularly looking forward to reading: The Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut, the first installment in a new early chapter series. I pulled every book out of the box – without giving them a second look – until I saw it: a small blue book with Arnie on the cover! There he was, proudly announcing: “I beat out two muffins and an onion bagel for the starring role in this chapter book!” Arnie is back, and he’s still Mr. Bing’s loyal and funny doughnut-dog. If you remember Mr. Bing, you may not be surprised to know that he belongs to an active bowling league. And guess who he brings along to his practices!
The new comic-book style chapter book revolves around a mystery: why is Mr. Bing rolling so many gutter balls? Of course, Arnie and a cast of zany friends figure it out – complete with great lines like this one: “Now that the yada-yadas have the lucky pink sprinkles, they’ll have the extra good luck instead of the Bingbats.” This is truly compelling reading! I’ve already ordered the second book in the series: Invasion of the UFONUTS.
In keeping with today’s Doughnut theme, here’s a picture I took yesterday at Dunkin Donuts:
Some of my friends don’t share my interest in the royal baby, and I get that. On the other hand, there is so much disturbing news out there (the San Diego Mayor, the New York mayoral race,) that I am enjoying hearing about a new baby boy! Right now, I’m craving a doughnut now, with pink sprinkles of course!