I remember those commercials like they appeared just yesterday. The little puke green and pale yellow bus would motor up to the little blond-haired boy’s front door and a ginormous goose…duck…well, some creature of the Aves species would come bouncing down the sidewalk brandishing a plastic bus-shaped carton. The boy’s face lit up like twelve Christmas trees as he raced out the door to claim his Sweet Pickles delivery from the big bird. After seeing this ad, I had to have that little bus carton of books. My heart sang at the thought of this bird visiting my doorstep to bring me books!
Imagine my disappointment when the books were delivered by none other than Mr. Dan, the mailman. Despite my dismay, I tore open the package, nearly dying to see what awaited: alphabet flashcards, colorful pictures of animals with short stories about each one, and cardboard-thin books filled with stories about any and everything a child could want to learn. This more than made up for the no-show of the old goose-bird-animal-person-thingamajig.
From then on, I must’ve begged my mama to join every book club that we could find. She was not a fan of buying dolls and other “trash” as she called it that would just dirty her clean house, so I’d cleverly found a way to get her to buy me something that I could enjoy just as much. I had books piled in every corner of my room, on the bed and underneath. If a new series of “Frog and Toad” adventures was out or Ms. Nelson was missing again, (she would have been fired by now if she taught school today; just saying) I was the first to know. Reading those books from Sweet Pickles instilled in me a thirst for knowledge that has yet to be satisfied.
I am forever grateful to Mama for encouraging me to read anything I could get my tiny hands on, all the while tossing my beloved Barbie knock-offs into the trash can and also the creators of Sweet Pickles for providing the best gift a kid could ask for–knowledge.