This was the question I asked Andy when he told me he had a biography book report assigned last Tuesday.
He told me, "My friend got Helen Keller and I got Todd Cooke."
I'm thinking...OK...I consider myself educated in many areas. This should include all of the "popular" biographies assigned to 2nd graders (George Washington, Helen Keller, Pocahontas and other various and sundry educators, inventors, business men and women), but Todd Cooke. Todd COOKE? Athlete? Politician? WHO?!?!?
So I ask. I'm only human right? "Who is Todd Cooke?"
Andy says, "Hmm. I'm not sure. Let me double check the book I got from my teacher. (looks in his backpack). Oh, I mean Henry Ford!" TODD COOKE? How did he come up with THAT? OK, whew. Henry Ford I know! I HAVEN'T been under a rock.
My friend says that Henry Ford (aka Todd Cooke) is perfect for Andersen. He loved to take watches apart and tinker with combustion engines. This is right up Andy's alley. This is the child that took my vacuum cleaner apart at age 2. He was 2, not my vacuum cleaner. Of course, I couldn't put it back together so I got out of vacuuming that day.
This same child also used to peel and break every single crayon to see what was inside. You got it. The whole box. After all, maybe green has a different middle than brown that may be different from red, etc. Every toy car he owned (or still owns) have the rubber tire parts removed and are driving around on their rims. So, OK onto Henry Ford.
With Andy, I have to reel him in. My daughter has trouble getting started and planning a big project. Andy, on the other hand, wants to start the project at the end (skip the research, skip the roughdrafts). So, he's already printing out pictures of Henry and asking where the gluestick is. Of course, I let my kids do as much on their own as possible, but I have to make sure Andy at least follows the directions and does this in steps.
The mystery has been solved though. Todd Cooke is a REAL PERSON! I almost woke up the entire house with my outburst of laughter the other night. I was the only one still awake and I was watching TV. I'm a night owl and particularly relish the time after everyone's gone to sleep. This often comes at the expense of my alertness the next day, but I've been setting limits on myself better.
What comes on but a commercial for Todd Cooke, a local business man with a website and an 800 number. My son obviously saw this ad too (albeit earlier in the day) and got his wires crossed with the American founder of the Ford Motor Company.