Oh, There You Are, Perry!
Day 258 – April 5, 2012
One of the reasons we moved our family down here to Peru was to help our children (ahem…and me also) learn the Spanish language.
Our trio of kids attend Spanish classes at their School so that is helping improve their bi-linguistic skills.
Another tactic that my lovely wife has started is to buy books in Spanish for our threesome, which she did today.
For our two boys, she bought a collection of detective stories featuring tales by Edgar Allan Poe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
For our daughter she purchased a collection of books from the “Yo Leo Inicial” (I Can Read Beginner) series.
One of these titles from that series caught my eye because it showed me how far and wide a swath the cultural impact of Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh has become.
If the names of Messrs. Povenmire and Marsh do not ring a bell for you, then perhaps you might be aware of their creation, the animated television series Phineas and Ferb.
Even to this day and at my age, I am a big fan of cartoons so I have no issue with saying that I encountered Phineas and Ferb before my children and was the one who introduced my kids to this wonderful show.
I’ll put aside for other folks to describe why this show is excellent (such as here and here and here) or maybe you flip your television set over to The Disney Channel or Disney XD and find out for yourself.
Although, it goes without saying that any show contained a musical number about a Mexican-Jewish cultural festival, is fifteen types of fantastic.
Bringing this post back to the children’s books, one of the titles is Y Justo A Mi (And Just to Me) by Magdalena Helguera with illustrations by Christian Ayuni. This is a tale about a hapless boy who is always the target of pigeons and their…ahem…droppings. No matter where he goes, what he is dressed in, who he is with, or what he is eating, when he goes outside, he feels as if has a giant bullseye on him that only pigeons can see.
The second-to-last page contains this illustration that made me think of Povenmire and Marsh:
The boy on the left is the main character but it is the lad on right that drew my attention. The illustrator has this tyke wearing a shirt with the likeness of Perry the Platypus, a character from the minds of Povenmire and Marsh. Perry is a secret agent who is also the semi-aquatic pet of Phineas and Ferb.
I love the fact that a reference from a show I think is fantastic has made its way into a children’s book down here in Peru in just under five years.
As I saw that illustration, I instantly said out loud, “Oh, there you are, Perry!”
Fans of the show know of what I speak.