Thursday, July 23, 2009

time warp

I'll take a break from telling about our trip to bragging about my kids. That's what the blog's for, right?

Both children have finished their summer reading contests for Barnes and Noble bookstore. I knew Pook could easily read eight books this summer; that usually takes only eight days. Since the books looked good, I figured we'd read aloud to Bug so he could participate too. Only, he began to read by himself. He doesn't like to be taught (learning things being significantly different from his desire to know things) and usually rebels when requested to do something hard (different from liking to show off that he can do hard things), so I still thought the reading would come slowly after kindergarten began. Let the teacher deal with his moods while teaching; I'll have enough trouble with him and homework. But here we are, eight books later.

The five year old's list:
  1. "The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats (read to him before he started on his own)
  2. "Bears on Wheels" by Stan and Jan Berenstain
  3. "Bobby's Zoo" by Carolynn Lunn
  4. "Addition Annie" by David Gisler
  5. "Please, Wind?" by Carol Greene
  6. "Go, Dog. Go!" by P.D. Eastman
  7. "Hop on Pop" by Dr. Seuss
The eight year old's list:
  1. "Pompeii: Buried Alive" by Edith Kunhardt Davis
  2. "Sherlock Holmes & the Baker Street Irregulars" by Tracy Mack
  3. "Ben Franklin in Old Philadelphia" by Margaret Cousins
  4. "More Adventures of the Great Brain" by John D. Fitzgerald
  5. "Tut Tut" by Jon Scieszka
  6. "Cool Zone with the Great One" by Judy Bloom
  7. "The Great Brain Reforms" by John D. Fitzgerald
  8. "Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Sleeping Dog" by Donald J. Sobol
Once at the bookstore, they proudly presented their lists and each chose a brand new, free book to take home. Pook chose "Chocolate Fever" by Robert Kimmel Smith and Bug carried home "Biscuit Takes a Walk" by Alyssa Satin Capucilli and Pat Schories.

As a parent, and an avid reader (who wishes she could read more, but finds that life gets in the way) it is really wonderful to realize that your children love to read just as much as you. We've read to both of them since they came home from the hospital. (Favorite book for baby showers:
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Iza Trapani) And yet we weren't sure Bug would be a reader. Pook listened to anything we read to him. Anything. "Reader's Digest Guide to Home Repair": check. "How Things Work": check. As long as we used intonation intended for an infant, he'd listen as long as we read. No issue with attention span there; he could listen to me read longer than I could read. And, as our first child, we figured that anyone who read to their child like us could have a child like our's.

And then we had Bug. I figure we had Bug to teach us that we knew nothing. Truly, when it comes to that child, I still know next to nothing. We read aloud to him as an infant, and he screamed. Since he screamed even if we put him down, sometimes we read anyway, just for something to do. He seemed to ignore it for the first six or eight months, but we read on. He'd squirm to be put down and sometimes we read on. Then, we noticed that if we read a book the second time, he'd stop what he was doing and watch us. If we picked it up another day still, he'd crawl over to check it out. By the fourth reading, he'd want to be in our lap.

Now I'm excited to meet his kindergarten teacher. I hope that s/he appreciates his love for books and interest in knowing new things the way we do. I hope he can avoid bragging to other children who aren't yet reading. I hope he rips through the library and reads all my favorite books from childhood and lets me read many more of them aloud to him.

Love is... sharing a good book.


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