PopKIDS Sunny Summer Reviews

By liz

Another lovely year of third grade in Brooklyn comes to an end in three days. The kids can't wait to splash in fire hydrants and eat bombpops until their mouths turn purple, and I can't wait to jump in the car and drive aimlessly around brooklyn, but we all had a really nice, happy year. Kids in several grades took time from their busy end of the year schedules to muse on their summer plans, cookies, marriage and the meaning of life.

After three years of interviewing kids about music, I want to take a moment that I should have taken a long time ago to acknowledge David Greenberger, the creator of Duplex Planet. Duplex Planet is stories and interviews from the nursing home in Boston where Mr. Greenberger worked for years. They've been on NPR and the comic books based on them, Duplex Planet Illustrated, are excellent. Check them out! Though kids were being interviewed during radio serials about all kinds of topics long before Bill Cosby was in the picture, David Greenberger's interviews of retirees about pop music inspired me to interview kids about it too.

~Sarah Allen

The Edsels - "Rama Lama Ding Dong"
Kindergarten summer


Ms S: So what are your summer plans?
Angelo: I'm gonna read a book
Ms S: Which book?
Angelo: The one with the cats.
Ms S: Oh, ok. What do you like about summer?
Angelo: I'm gonna put my feet in the water. And go on the monkey bars. Angelica can't push me off.
Ms S: Is Angelica your sister?
Angelo: (angrily) She's my cousin!
Ms S: Sorry, Angelo!
Angelo: Who's your cousin?
Ms S: Um, my cousins live in Chicago.
Angelo: Could he give me a cookie?
Ms S: Well, they don't know you, but--
Ms S: What do you think of this song?.
Angelo: I don't know what song is. If I don't eat a cookie, I will knock over the blocks!

John Denver - "Junk"


Ms S: Albert, how are you going to spend your summer?
Albert: Ha ha ha ha ha!
Ms S: Are you going to play outside?
Albert: Yeah.
Ms S: What do you like about summer?
Albert: The beach. When I go to the park. When we get to eat the hot dogs!
Ms S: Hot dogs?
Albert: We're gonna go the woods. And my dad, he puts the hot dogs on a STICK! and you put the stick in a fire! and the hot dog is BLACK! and you eat it!
Ms S: Is it good?
Albert: Ha ha ha ha ha! Yeah! Did you eat it?
Ms S: I have before! It's good!
Albert: Did you know my dad?
Ms S: No.
Albert: He could make a hot dog for you! He ould make a hot dog at your birthday and sing happy birthday to you!

The Go-Gos - "Our Lips Are Sealed"


Ms S: What do you like best about summer?
Stelly: The sun!
Ms S: Why do you like it?
Stelly: I like it on my skin. I want to hug the sun!
Ms S: Do you like the rain too?
Stelly: For one minute. Then I'm gonna say, "Ok, sun, come back! I love you, I love you!"
Ms S: What will you do this summer?
Stelly: I will eat a cupcake and my grandma will give me a fireworks! The one where you wave it around and it goes "k-k-k-k-k".
Ms S: A sparkler?
Stelly: Yeah!
Ms S: What do you think of this song?
Stelly: This song is summer! It's my clock. It's in my mouth.

The Magnetic Fields - "It's Only Time"
5th grade girls at an afterschool program


Tania: Ok, why you got to be so sad?
Ellie: Maybe his wife left him behind.
Ms S: (smiling) I really doubt that.
Jacquie: He is very sad. Ooooooh, listen to that. He needs to check his drama!
Tania: I think he's an old, old man. Like 90 years old.
Ellie: Oh, wai-, wai-, wait. Listen! He's saying "marry me"! He wants to get married!
Jaquie: I ain't marrying you, your voice is all froggy!
Everyone: (laughter)
Jaquie: When I get married, I'm going to be a veterinarian and my husband is going to be a veterinarian and our pet---um, our vet place is going to be called "Cuddles".
Ellie: That's dumb. You should call it cats and Dogs r Us.
Jaquie: But cats and dogs aren't the only animals there. We'll have, you know, turtles and hamsters and all that.
Tania: Why do you even want to work with your husband; you're going to get sick of him!
Jaquie: No, cause we're both gonna be vets.
Tania: So?
Ellie: My cousin, she married her boyfriend, right? And they only knew each other ONE YEAR!!!
Tania: So? My parents only knew each other 9 months before they got engaged. They got married in, um, 1990.
Ellie: That's crazy that people decide they're gonna get married like that. They hardly even KNOW each other! How you know that, ok, you're going to like them? You get married and it's all nice and perfect and then before you know it, he's setting his stinky feet up on the table and buying a new motorcycle with all your money?
Jaquie: But maybe you just know you're gonna marry them and that's it. It doesn't matter if it's only a little while or whatever.
Ellie: Ok, if you want to go off marrying someone you only know a few months, go ahead! Marry your old vet, help all the cats and dogs, but it's gonna be bad when you realize you don't even know him! I'm gonna make a new law in America, and the law is: No getting married until a boyfriend and girlfriend know each other for five youears!
Jaquie: I'm gonna appeal your law and strike it down.
Ellie: The people will vote with me! So you can't just go and do that.
Ms S: You know a lot about laws!
Ellie: We learned about it in social studies.

Helen Love - "Rollercoasting"
1st graders give advice on summer amusements


Ms S: Ok, I am here with John and Lola and they are going to tell me about rollercoasters. Who is going to talk first?
John: Me!
Lola: Me!
Lola: Ok, you.
John: Rollercoasters are a ride that goes around in the sky. They are metal. They are really, so, so, fun.  
Lola: You have to buy a ticket.
John: Some of them go upside down. But I have not gone on that kind. My brother did though.
Lola: I didn't either because I wasn't tall enough!
Ms S: What is your advice for a day of rollercoasters?
John: Hold on to the bar. Put on the seatbelt.
Lola: Scream your head off when it goes fast!
John: What else would you like to know?
Ms S: (laughing) I would like to know... what other rides are fun?
John: The ferris wheel! You can see all the way to France!
Lola: When my dad took me on I thought we were going to fall off the planet! I thought we were going to be flown away by a seagull!
John: A seagull can't hold up a person.
Lola: Hahaha!
John: The best thing is, when you are going to Coney Island, win a game where you get a giant Scooby Doo! The kind that is THIS big (motions hands as far apart as they can get). I want one! But I am not allowed to play those games until I am ten!
Lola: And do NOT forget to eat ice cream! But don't spill it! Your mom will yell!