Expert Opinion

Issue reference: 
Author / Interviewer: 
Ayun Halliday
Author/Interviewer (User): 
Interviewee: 
India Reed Kotis
Associated Article: 

Since we don't have any actual kids on staff here at Bitch hq, we thought we ought to get some input from one. We talked to India Reed Kotis (also known as Inky), age 53/4, about her playtime preferences. More accurately, her mother, Ayun Halliday, creator/writer/illustrator of the East Village Inky and author of The Big Rumpus (Seal Press), talked to her and sent us the results.


What's your favorite toy?

Hmmm. My favorite toy is my new game of Dr. Seuss. It's a board game with cards. We go around in a circle and the one who gets its little piece at the end first wins. And Au Jus—it's a baby doll.


Does what's your favorite change a lot?


Yes. [Five minutes later.] Actually, I'm so silly, no! I do not change my favorite a lot!


How do you find out about a cool new toy? Is it from your friends, seeing it on tv, or seeing it in a store?


Maybe in a catalog. Barely from the window of that store on Smith Street. [According to its awning, this store is properly called Rainbow Gift Shop Happy Discount. —Ed.] I like the things that I see there, like that alarm clock, but I never get the things that I see in the window. I got that ball (the water yo-yo), but I didn't see that in the window. Oh, at school, too, I'm so silly. I see toys on tv that I don't want!


Do boys and girls play with different toys?


Yes. Boys play with superheroes and musical instruments. Girls play with Barbies, dolls, and art. Some boys like art. Stephen plays with dress-up. He dresses up as lots of things: karate, fireman, but not a tutu—are you crazy? Daisy plays with makeup. I want the makeup kit in the catalog—not the cloth one, but the one with all the barrettes and stuff in it.


Do you care whether there's a picture of a boy or a girl on a toy box?


N.O.


Does anyone ever tell you you shouldn't play with a certain toy because it's for a boy?


No. N.O. no! Uh-uh-uh!


Have you ever made your own toys? What are they?


Yes: some puppets, a book, and a picture of myself, ha ha! A picture with a lot of stuff that I found around the house. Curtains for my dollhouse.


What do you want for your birthday?


A violin. I just want a violin. It looks fun. Three things, actually: a violin, an American Girl doll, and a scooter.


What's a good birthday present for a boy?


A racing car.


What's a good birthday present for a girl?


Some dress-up or a doll or a book.


Inky attends kindergarten at a public school in Brooklyn. She has a brother, Milo, three years her junior, who, house rules dictate, must be included in everything he's awake for. Read more about the whole family by sending $2 (single issue) or $8 (one year) of well-concealed cash to the East Village Inky, P.O. Box 22754, Brooklyn, NY 11202.

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