Breakfast cereal, children’s books…

I was eating my breakfast a few days ago composed of juice, a banana, coffee and one of my favorite cereals; Cheerios. I finished and began digging through the empty box. Linda wanted to know what was going on. I told her I was after my cereal box prize: a children’s book entitled “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.” She smiled and walked away as I returned to my childhood.

Yes, that event took me back about 65 or 70 years (I would have been 3 to 8 then) and I thought of the number of times as a youngster I dug through a box of cereal for the prize advertised on the box. Sometimes I wanted the prize in an unknown box of cereal. A few times mother purchased the cereal with the admonition, “You’re going to eat it, if I buy it, even if you don’t like it.”

I agreed and sometimes was sorry for my decision. Yes, I would eat the whole box. When I was pleased with the prize it seemed to be worth the agony of downing the cereal. But the worst of the world came when I was disappointed with the prize and hated the cereal as well. Over the years I have limited most of my cereal intake to Rice Krispies (Snap, Crackle and Pop) and Cheerios. Puffed rice is o.k. but spare me from puffed wheat, Wheaties, corn flakes and the rest.
Remembering the late ’30s and early ’40s I know there were also prizes for mothers in some products. Remember the dish or hand towels, wash clothes, butter dishes or drinking glasses in the soapboxes. I can remember mother pulling a brightly striped dishtowel or what I believed to be a beautiful glass from a soapbox. She never seemed to be that impressed.

That period must have been in the late ’30s as when WWII started boxes of soap were scarce. There was no need for an “extra” to get a sale on a box of Oxydol, Rinso, or, as I remember, a newcomer called “Duz.” I can remember many standing in line at the grocery to buy a box of soap when it was in stock. Mother was a Rinso fan, then Duz and Oxydol came in last with her. All of those bit the dust when detergents came by. I don’t believe any in that trio can be purchased today.

The only soap I remember from those days that one can still purchase by the box or bar is Ivory. The slogan was “99 and 44/100s percent pure-and it floats.” Ahhh, those where the days.

There are four more children’s books in my Cheerios series. I continue to await Linda to purchase: “Click, Clack Moo; Cows that Type,” “Bears Snore On,” John Lithgow’s “Marsupial Sue,” or “Zin!, Zin!, Zin! A Violin.” I’m sure they all make good breakfast time reading. I was disappointed this week when she returned from the grocery with a plain box of Cheerios with none of them enclosed. Mother would have done better for her little boy!

When I finish invite me to your club or social for a luncheon book reviews. I’ll be there with copies of these fine books. Don’t laugh at my book selection as I notice “Chicka, Chicka,…” has won at least four children’s book awards.

Such are the people, places and things that have touched my life in my West Virginia home!