The name Roger Priddy may not mean much to you. Despite selling over 65 million books worldwide and having his titles translated into over 30 languages, he’s not exactly a household name. What this author of Children’s books might be however, is the Stephen King of the toddler set. At some point within my daughter’s first year of life, someone her Auntie Jill bought her a copy of Priddy’s MILLIE COW. This over-sized ”board book” bore a TJ MAXX sticker for $6.99, with an original price of $14.95. While the value was undoubtedly a delight, what was contained within it’s pages would prove to be something that was anything but.
As “Millie” stands staring at you with googly eyes on the front cover, everything looks perfectly safe. Flip through a few pages and you get to see her animal friends, just hanging out and letting the young readers get some sensory stimulation with shiny surfaces and fuzzy textures. What awaits as you turn to the book’s final pages is the revelation of Millie’s true form – that of a terrifying bovine demon.
Her nostrils flare with the fiery red glow of embedded lights, as her horrifying shriek is set free through the magic of a page-contained speaker. For an infant, this is truly a horror.
After witnessing just how traumatized the little one was from reading this book, we stashed it away. That was until this past weekend.
While prepping the house for the arrival of baby #2, I installed some new IKEA shelving into the little one’s room. Some of said shelving was allotted to books, including some that had been hidden away in the closet. A day or two passed, and the little one happened to pull MILLIE COW from the shelf. I thought her fear had gone away… until she hit those final pages. If she was horrified as an infant, as a 2 ½ year old, she was terrified into hysterics.
Immediately I stashed the book in the closet again – if only to quickly remove it from her view. 20 minutes later, and she was calmed down.
A couple more days passed by and today she woke up in hysterics again from her afternoon nap. “Millie Cow,” she cried, is “coming to get me.”
Tonight, my wife gently held the little one as I removed MILLIE COW from the closet. “Daddy is taking MILLIE COW away,” Mommy said. Downstairs the book went, and out into the garage to await a future garage sale. I went back upstairs, and there my little one asked for a “family hug.” “Thank you, Daddy” she said with a smile as the terror was finally over.
Update: 6/7/2012: What happened to Millie Cow?