hunter s. thompson, for the pre-K set

Can someone please tell me what is the deal with Skippyjon Jones?

Fergus carried Skippyjon Jones in the Doghouse home from his school’s library last week, very gently, as if he had been given the greatest of treasures.

I first met Skippyjon Jones, the Siamese cat who imagines he is a chihuahua, two years ago, when he was Cooper’s greatest obsession. “Holy Guacamole!” Cooper would shout, at regular intervals, and then he would fall about. I asked his teacher about it, and she rolled her eyes, smiling. “Skippyjon Jones,” she said. “All the kids flip over that book.”

And so I had to read it for myself (and Cooper) at home, and share in my son’s great joy. Well, I am sorry to say, I did NOT GET IT. I don’t mean I didn’t like it– I mean it baffled me entirely. I didn’t get it like my mom didn’t get my sophomore year haircut (long on one side, short on the other). It just did not compute. I enjoyed the book’s premise greatly– I loved shouting “Holy Guacamole!” and making Cooper laugh– but I couldn’t really make heads or tails out of the book and what happened in it. All the characters talk in Speedy Gonzalez/Taco Bell-ese, and it seems sort of politically incorrect actually, though if SJJ is Siamese, then the book is not making any generalizations about actual Latinos, I suppose.

Still, when Fergus came home so excited about reading this second Skippyjon Jones book, I figured, it’s a sequel, maybe there are some answers therein, some rewards for his loyal fans.

But this book, the second in an apparently growing Skippyjon Jones series, is even more opaque than the first.

Skippyjon Jones gets into trouble and is sent to his room, in a Max/ Where the Wild Things Are kind of way. That much I get. But then he starts imagining, and it was one big acid trip.

Somehow, SJJ enters a house full of chihuahuas, who ask his help in getting a “Bobble-ito” out of la casa perrito. Then, an old chihuahua spits three beans on Skippy, he is rolled in a tortilla and off a cliff, he confronts Bobble-ito in a mysterious attic, stuffs the Bobble-ito in his pants, the chihuahuas sing a song about “licky-sticky mangos” and “chimi-chimi-changos,” and Skippy is back in his room.

I just had to read the book like four more times to be able to give you that plot synopsis, and I know that what I have told you makes no sense, but I’m telling you, it’s the best I can do.

I finished reading this book to Fergus and he said, “Mommy, I don’t know what that means is happening.”

“Neither do I,” I admitted.

But I kind of can’t stop thinking about it, like the first time I saw Pink Floyd The Wall . El Skippito Perrito is haunting my dreams.

But kids love him. So what am I missing? Do I need to eat some mushrooms from the backyard first, next time?