Get an Even Bigger Wagon! - by Maureen Haddock
This book contains true stories about a boy, born with an entrepreneurial spirit, who is allowed to learn from his adventures in, and around, small town Saskatchewan. Get an Even Bigger Wagon, the sequel to Get a Bigger Wagon, chronicles the boy’s risky adventures, embarrassing predicaments, and tough decisions as he navigates the social life and customs of the late fifties and early sixties. Always wanting to earn money, he continues to search for work, often exaggerating about his abilities in order to be hired. He experiences disappointment when the reward for working long days at a carnival does not involve money. A night of Halloween pranking - backfires; he learns lessons about the pool hall; he experiences alcohol; he loses a fist fight; he admires, and learns from, a young entrepreneur; and he realizes that everyone has a currency, even if its not money. He doesn’t feel healthy when he makes wrong choices. Reading these stories aloud to your children, and grandchildren, might bring a sense of nostalgia to you, while nudging your parenting style in a new direction. Perhaps the spirited child in your family will find a happy productive life as an entrepreneur.
The boy’s mother, having grown up in a huge city, understands that a variety of experiences are available to children in small towns, which aren’t attainable in larger centers. She happily moves to small town Saskatchewan, when her husband dreams of starting his own business. Her parenting style allows the boy to grow into the entrepreneur he is today.
The stories in Get an Even Bigger Wagon create a sense of nostalgia for those who lived the fifties and sixties. Reading the stories aloud sets the mood for storytelling between the generations.
At the end of each story, the boy, grown into manhood, shares his incites with the reader. Although the stories are set in the fifties and sixties, the life truths he comes to understand are relevant today. Parents raising spirited, strong willed children may recognize some of the boy’s characteristics in their own family members. Sharing these stories aloud might help create an atmosphere conducive to discussing business as a career.
The Entrepreneur’s Story
Denyse Klette captures the nostalgic feel of the stories by creating the illustrations in soft black and white, reminiscent of the early days of television.
The boy became the entrepreneur he is today, partly because of the parenting style of his mother. Coming from a large family, she believed children should learn about life by making independent choices, and experiencing, firsthand, the consequences. The spirited boy had a chance to discover many truths.
Author Maureen Haddock and “the boy” from the stories met when they were children, and they married in 1970. She had developed a love of paper, ink, words, and printing presses when she was a little girl, living with her entrepreneurial parents. Maureen began to write about her husband’s childhood experiences, and now there are 46 stories, in two books, telling of one boy’s journey toward a life of independent business.
The Boy's First Adventure
Get a Bigger Wagon, the prequel to Get an Even Bigger Wagon, illustrates the boy’s desire to earn and save money for things he wants, beyond what his parents would provide. The wagon, an important business tool for children in the fifties, provides a way to get jobs done. The boy develops independent thinking, learns through consequences, and develops into the entrepreneur he was meant to become.
About the Author:
Maureen Haddock was born into a printing family and spent much of her early childhood with her parents in their Manitoba weekly newspaper office. At the time, her parents were the youngest publishers in Manitoba. Her love of the printed word grew from these stimulating surroundings. Maureen received her Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan in 1970 and, later the same year, married her entrepreneurial childhood sweetheart. A talented writer and educator, Maureen has distinguished herself in the fields of communications, training, creative services and writing. She has used all of these skills in the many businesses she and her husband have shared. Her previously published or recorded writings include: short stories, poetry, song lyrics, newspaper columns, publicity material, scripts for DVD and CD, as well as educational materials for The Body Shop Saskatchewan and The Belly Button Buddies. At present, Maureen is looking forward to sharing ideas, history, and recipes in From the Cookie Jar.