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Book of the Week: Pat the Money

Pat the MoneyIf you’re still looking for a graduation gift for what’s been coined the “Oh Sh%t” class of college graduates, look no further than Pat the Money, by Dianne Wachtell. Using the same pastel pink and Tiffany blue color scheme and baby-friendly flip and touch pages as the beloved Pat the Bunny, Wachtell has crafted the cleverest of picture book spoofs; your grads will laugh with terror and recognition. Oh, to go back to toddlerhood story time!

Pat the Money bemoans the fiscal fate of the “baby-busters” (the offspring of boomers), casting them into the character of Buster the Bunny. Like any good satire, it perfectly echoes the tone, rhythm and style of the original. Except this one packs some punches: “Paul can pat the money. Now YOU pat the money. Now stop patting the money. It belongs to Paul.” There’s even a little fake $20 bill folded into the page for you to fondle. Paul is the boomer, born before 1960, and you are the ‘buster’, the kid with the thrift store Folgers brewer to his shiny espresso maker. And Paul’s espresso maker is very shiny.

Seasoned parents will enjoy bestowing this parody on unsuspecting parents to-be, who have yet to know Pat the Bunny’s popularity with little ones. Fifty re-readings of the classic later, these new parents will turn to your version with a knowing tee-hee. And why not read the updated flip book aloud to baby? It has all the trappings of the original, like a pile of coins that baby can touch- “look!” you chime, “it’s mommy’s dwindling stock portfolio!” Though written in 2003, this book is very of-the-moment, and will look brand new on their cardboard box… er… coffee table.

Emily Frost

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