White Sox

Just so you know, this slim book has NOTHING to do with the Black Sox Scandal.  Furthermore, it has nothing to do with Baseball OR Chicago, which is all good, at least to The Droning Voice. It is, in fact, about reindeer.

And, just so you know, this has nothing to do with any of the reindeer involved in pulling Santa’s sled full of toys. Nope. THIS book is sanctioned by the full backing of THE WORLD BOOK COMPANY, located in Yonkers-on-Hudson, NY, which is nowhere near the North Pole. All the action takes place kinda in that vicinity, though. The North Pole. Not Yonkers-on-Hudson. And, unlike many of the children’s books The Droning Voice has read, none of the critters in this book wear anything remotely resembling a monocule or top-hat or even spats. There is, however, a mention of a “seal-leather thong”, but The Droning Voice hastens to assure the listener that such a thong had a much different use back in the 1920s in Alaska than might be employed today, particularly in certain nightclubs in San Francisco.

This book teaches the listener probably more than they wanted to know about actual reindeer, and their caribou cousins up in the northern latitudes. It is the story of a wise Mother Reindeer teaching her young fawn, White Sox, all about being a reindeer. They manage, somehow – it is never explained how, exactly – to get away from their herd and hang with their caribou cousins for a while, where White Sox learns all about the hazards of living in the wild and being considered tasty to wolves. And he experiences “Antler Envy” when he notices his caribou cousins have larger antlers than he. The Droning Voice was glad his mother was able to assuage his youthful concerns in that area. Every good mother assures her son that size doesn’t really matter.

Also, at one point White Sox and his mom have to escape wolves by running into a marshy area that is basically a natural super-fund site, with oil just laying about the surface of the land and water. They slowly wade through it, knowing the wolves’ will have to turn back, and turning White Sox’s legs black in the process. Ick. It is a good (?) thing these oil lakes near Point Barrow were discovered by oil companies in the early 1920s, so that they could get to cleaning them up. So to speak.

If you simply MUST know where Point Barrow is, the author of this book, Mr. Lopp, tells the student to open up a map of Alaska and find the 71st parallel. The Droning Voice managed to find it on her ca. 1960’s era globe, which also has all kinds of countries on it that no longer technically exist.

Mother Reindeer then tells White Sox the history of how the reindeer came to be in the service of man (woman, humans, LGBTQMNOP) involving a caribou fawn named “White Feet”, but given what he DID, should’ve been call “Brown Nose”. The Droning Voice will leave it at that.

Sweet dreams with visions of sugar plums!

Here is a sample of White Sox:

This is a short example of The Droning Voice.  Subscribers can access the full-length version and really put themselves to sleep.  Here is how to subscribe.

The Tale of Jasper Jay

“Dandy” – “Rowdy” – “Scamp”

The above terms are what Mr. Bailey used to describe Jasper Jay. Clearly Mr. Bailey disapproved of flashy attire, no matter who was wearing it. If one was a “dandy”, the other adjectives naturally followed. The Droning Voice can only imagine what sort of words he would have used to describe a peacock, which, to The Droning Voice looks like the avian version of a Drag Queen but with even MORE pizzazz (if such a thing were possible).

This book starts (and ends) with what Jasper Jay likes to eat, particularly beechnuts. Since The Droning Voice had only vaguely heard of beechnuts, preferring to get her nuts pre-shelled, roasted, salted, and dished out in handy cans, she went to the ‘net to provide you a link complete with pictures so that you can go forage some for yourself. She read somewhere that they are edible, so it HAS to be true.

Oh, and Blue Jays are NOISY, in case you didn’t already know.

She learned about an ailment (suffered by Old Mr. Crow) called “Housemaid’s Knee”, which turns out to be some kind of inflammation of the bursa behind the patella (knee cap). The Droning Voice was unaware that crows even HAD knees, much less were in the domestic employment industry. Okie-dokey.

She also learned that Mrs. Green called her family in to meals by blowing some sort of instrument, though it is never stated what kind. A trombone? An alpine horn? A digeridoo? A shofar? The imagination runs wild.

If you stay awake long enough, you will find out that the “Pleasant Valley Singing Society”, lead by a Mr. Valentine Veery, liked to sing “Good Night Ladies”.

And with THAT ear worm, The Droning Voice wishes you …

Pleasant Dreams!

Here is a sample of The Tale of Jasper Jay:

This is a short example of The Droning Voice.  Subscribers can access the full-length version and really put themselves to sleep.  Here is how to subscribe.

The Tale of Jolly Robin

The Droning Voice learned a LOT about birds in this little book. For instance, she learned that birds, according to the author, Arthur Scott Bailey, can READ. Or at least Jasper Jay can, but then members of that particular family of birds are notably intelligent by human standards, though some people would argue that isn’t really saying much. But still.

Speaking of Jasper Jay, the author did mention the ornithological fact that Jays and Crows are cousins. Important to the plot line, because Old Mr. Crow actually hires Jolly Robin to laugh for him – an early adoptee of the practice of engaging a claque. However, Jolly Robin, not having the intelligence of members of the corvid family (The Droning Voice knows WAY too much about birds), spends his time laughing at Old Mr. Crow and winds up getting fired. Oh, well. One can only hope Jolly Robin was able to file for unemployment.

There were other not-too-exciting plots involving a snowman, a (spoiler) weather vane, and a four-armed man who was lugging pails of milk into the “buttery”. The Droning Voice was confident she knew the meaning of “buttery,” assuming that, since the man was hauling milk from the cow barn into some sort of room, the milk was going to be churned into butter. Imagine her surprise when she went online to verify her assumption and discovered that while a “buttery” is, in fact, a room, it is a room for storing LIQUOR. So, in this book written for children, there is a reference to some pre-prohibition dairy-based moonshine still at Farmer Green’s “farm.” Hey, go see for yourself.

And, of course, Old Mr. Crow knew ALL about it, making him an accomplice in this little enterprise.

Jolly Robin also gets in BIG trouble with his wife for staying out all night with that good-for-nothing Willie Whip-poor-will. Take note, gentlemen. If you want to keep your wife smiling, don’t stay out all night with Willie Whip-poor-will (or anybody else).

And with that bit of wisdom, pleasant dreams!

Here is a sample of The Tale of Jolly Robin:


This is a short example of The Droning Voice.  Subscribers can access the full-length version and really put themselves to sleep.  Here is how to subscribe.

Peter of New Amsterdam

This is a fictionalized account of the founding of the settlement of New York City, from the purchase of Manhattan Island  from the local tribe of savages/brown men/indians who were either peaceable or, well, savage, depending upon the moment.  The supposed narrator of the story, a boy (Peter) of about 10 years of age when the story begins, is an English orphan, taken by the director of the Dutch West India Company to help settle the New World.  He is then put in charge of the storehouse of items with which to barter with the locals, as an early example of “on the job training”.  The Droning Voice believes there are many current offices in which a random 10 year-old boy (or 8 year-old girl) would certainly do no worse than whomever is currently in said office, and probably would do better.  But she digresses.

Peter witnesses the purchase of the island from the locals, is impacted by the bad judgment of various directors sent over from Holland, sees the Dutch kick the Swedes out, all the while trading and skirmishing with the natives.  And THEN he gets to be on hand when the English take control,  kick out the Dutch overlords, and change the name of the settlement from “New Amsterdam” to “The Big Apple”.

If you are of such delicate sensibilities that the mention of historical terms to describe non-caucasians, you would be well-advised to skip this little selection, tedious as it may be.  Also there is reference to some pretty grotesque punishments for not attending the proper church, causing The Droning Voice to wonder what those meting out such punishments would do if they were somehow teleported to the middle of Times Square on any Friday night at any time post 1970.  She is guessing they would spontaneously combust, not that anybody in Times Square would notice.  Noticing things like that is for tourists.

This book is fiction, but the author managed to keep the plot moving at a glacial pace, so, rest assured, it  should put you right to sleep.

Pleasant dreams!

Here is a sample of Peter of New Amsterdam:


This is a short example of The Droning Voice.  Subscribers can access the full-length version and really put themselves to sleep.  Here is how to subscribe.

Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue

This book starts with a monkey attack, and ends with a small boy beating the stuffing out of his sister’s doll with a heavy stick.  This could be too exciting for today’s audience, who mostly sit around staring at whatever personal device is currently in their hands.  Some of them are probably looking up “monkey attack.”

But never fear.  This is a droning of the antics of a early 20th century little boy and his sister.  If anybody is paying any attention whatsoever to the storyline, most will be gobsmacked that the Dpt. Of Human Services didn’t just come by and send those kids into foster care, given how absolutely inattentive their parents were to their whereabouts, and basically let them wander about all over town like feral cats.  Bunny and Sue blatantly trespass – several times, go joy-riding in a boat, sneak into a movie theater without paying AND also on an automobile.  Hijinks ensue.  Bunny appropriates the claw of a dead  crustacean to wear as a nose.  Sue smears mud all over herself in her attempt to be Robinson Crusoe’s man “Friday”.

So, yeah, there are plenty of things at which to be offended, if that is your comfort zone.  The Droning Voice gently suggests that, if you are paying that close of attention, this story may be just too enthralling for you.  However, the first chapter spends a number of pages on the children waking up and getting dressed.  You could be asleep in record time.

Pleasant dreams!

Here is a sample of Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue:


This is a short example of The Droning Voice.  Subscribers can access the full-length version and really put themselves to sleep.  Here is how to subscribe.