Thursday, October 25, 2007

Childish Things: A Born Bookworm

I have lamented here and there how little time (or energy) I have to read truly good books these days. I have always, always loved to read. We didn't have a TV for a long time when I was young, so books were my fantasy world. My library card was one of my most treasured possessions and I would spend hours choosing just the right books to borrow. I don't think scanning a barcode is nearly as exciting as when they used to put your library card through that machine that pressed an imprint into a carbon paper. It made that harsh sound and then you had your stack of books with their card in the back, duly stamped with the return date. You could even see who had checked out the books before you did.

My mother has given me some of the books I adored as a child and I cannot visit a bookstore without spending at least 15 minutes (usually more) in the children's section.

We read to our children and I think I may just enjoy it more than they do! I find my self a little sad when J.T. doesn't like books I consider classics and am overjoyed when we discover new ones together.

Some of our favorites, new ones and classics (in no particular order):

1. The Grinch
2. The Cat in the Hat
3. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
4. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
5. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
6. Freight Train
7. How to Be a Pirate
8. No, David!
9. Curious George
10. Where the Wild Things Are
11. The Three Little Pigs
12. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (told from the wolf's perspective)
13. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
14. Guess How Much I Love You
15. Goodnight Moon
16. The Fourth Wise Man
17. Will They Put Me in the Zoo?
18. Green Eggs and Ham
19. Tikki Tikki Tembo
20. Make Way for Ducklings

I can't wait until the kids are old enough for my tween classic favorites: The Chronicles of Narnia, A Wrinkle in Time, The Boxcar Children, Hatchet, O. Henry's Short Stories, Number the Stars, My Side of the Mountain, A Taste of Blackberries, Sounder, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing and Harry Potter!

Rob is already reading chapter books aloud to J.T. He loves a good adventure. Just like his mother. Opening a book really is like jumping into another world, or someone else's life, isn't it? "Seeing" new places and "meeting" new people. Walking paths I would not have otherwise gotten to walk. Mulling over ideas I would not have otherwise encountered. I could go on forever here. I'll shut up now.


tracey petersen said...

Some fantastic Australian childrens' authors:
Bob Graham - especially Rose Meets Mr Wintergarden - my absolute favourite
Mem Fox - especially Possum Magic - her first book
Emily Rodda - the Delotora Quest series and the Rowan series - chapter books.
You might find them on amazon???
PS I am still sad that my children do not read picture books any more.

Aunty Evil said...

I love reading to my nieces and nephews. I even recognise some of the less obvious ones on your list (obvious=cat in the hat etc).

I love the smell of new books.

I love the smell of old books.

I know what you mean about the library card. I even loved the smell of that.

Fairlie said...

One of the absolute highlights of this year for me has been Queenie discovering the joy of reading. She's always been a good reader, but never saw reading as something you would choose voluntarily to do. Early this year, we linked her TV viewing to her reading (i.e a minute of reading got her a minute of TV on the weekend) and in her enthusiasm to clock up the TV time, she discovered that if you get into books you can really enjoy them. She's now at the opposite end of the spectrum, sneaking extra reading time after her lights are supposed to be out, and whizzing through novel after novel.

I endorse tracey's aussie author suggestions!

M said...

A favourite story in our house is "The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig". A significant twist on the classic tale.

Agree with Tracey's suggestions. We also love Jackie French. And another of Mem Fox's books "Wombat Divine" if you are into Christmas Stories.

Oh, and have you ever read JT any of Hillair Belloc's Cautionary Tales? Classic poems (I know what you're thinking) from the turn of the 20th Century. All about naughty children and the terrible things that happen to them.

Stomper Girl said...

We've read the first 4 Harry Potters aloud to Climber, I couldn't wait until he could do it himself! Now I want to find the True Story of the Wolf and the Pigs. And we loved Alexanders Terrible Day in our house! Not so much my kids yet. Might try it on them again.

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