Hoarding and I go way back.
When I was a kid I recall hearing about the dangers of red food coloring and that soon red M&Ms would be discontinued. I reasoned, “One day red M&Ms will be worth something.” So I accumulated a large zip-loc bag of 100% red M&Ms. I stowed it away on the top shelf of my bedroom cupboard.
My friends thought I was daft. Rightfully so.
My hoarding affliction may be genetic, or a simple case of nurture.
My dad used to save things too, lots of things in outbuildings: used tires. old furniture. folding knives. matchbooks. He had an abundance of cowboy boots and hats. My mom saved things; styrofoam meat packaging trays from the grocery store, Nucoa margarine tubs (tupperware was a rarity in our home), condiment packages from KFC take-out.
Perhaps my most humorous hoarding adventure is hoarding copies of “NICO” … a book about hoarding.
It’s true. I have multiple copies of the classic children’s tale “Nico” by Paul Borovsky (1993). It’s a book I enjoyed reading aloud with my kids, so when I began this blog it became a top contender as a give-away book. I took to the internet to snap up affordable (read: used) copies for gifting (also, not gonna lie, I’m hoarding).
“Nico” is now out of print.
Though I doubt my red M&Ms truly appreciated over time, as of today new copies (mint condition) of “Nico” will set you back as much as $149.46.
So what’s the appeal of “Nico”?
I love the illustrations; simplistic, humorous and for young attention spans, captivating. More so, the moral imperatives are cleverly and simplistically expressed. Kids and adults will find them applicable. I’ve read a few relatively recent reviews of the book, which are, well … totally lame. One stated the book is a “Heavy-handed message about the importance of friendship and the dangers of selfishness.” Psychobabble.
If teaching friendship and sharing is “heavy handed” … then I hope we’ll all raise our heavy hands and shout out “Count me in!”
Here’s what Publisher’s Weekly has to say about “Nico”
” … this alluring tale set in a tropical forest … presents a timeless and worthy moral. Nico is an ape who scours the forest daily for nuts, berries and fruit, filling his basket with far more food than he can use. When storms destroy the dwellings of several animals, the others pitch in to help them rebuild. But not Nico: he’s too busy greedily gathering food. One day the selfish ape collects one mango too many, and his treehouse collapses under the weight of his hoard. When his neighbors offer assistance, a puzzled Nico replies, ‘I never helped any of you when you needed me. Why would you help me?’ The toucan’s simple response captures the essence of Borovsky’s message: ‘Because you need us now.'”
“Nico, of course, is never again too preoccupied to lend a hand–and from then on he shares his bounty. Featuring the variegated greens and browns of the rain forest, Borovsky’s finely rendered art stars animals whose personalities will grow on youngsters with repeated encounters. Among the many winning nuggets of humor are scenes of Nico fastidiously taking his daily food inventory, and toasting his friends at a feast celebrating his new home…”
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and appeal with thanksgiving let your requests be made to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil: 4:6-7