Monday, March 27, 2017

New book discoveries with each child

When N was little, she and I enjoyed the Junie B. Jones books by Barbara Park.  Yes, Junie was a rascal, but that was the great thing about her.  She was an imagined rascal.

(I never understood why some parents got bent out of shape by she was setting a bad example that their children would emulate.  Kids understand far better than parents sometimes that these stories are made up.)

N read some of the Frannie K. Stein books by Jim Benton, but when G got older he dove headfirst into every one of them.  The little boy mad scientist in him fell in love with the little girl mad scientist in her.

G went bananas over the Geronimo Stilton fantasy series and read almost all of those.  Now he is firmly ensconced in The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney, although I try very, very hard to throw some Newbery Medal winners his way (he doesn't want to read them but loves them once he does).  He picked Because of Winn-Dixie and loved it, so we're getting ready to read another Kate DiCamillo book (The Tiger Rising).

M and I discovered a new-to-me series, Mr. Putter and Tabby by Cynthia Rylant.  There is much to love in this series.  I mean, it is about an old man and a cat, which are two of my favorite things.  One of the best things about the series is Mr. Putter's special relationship with his neighbor, Mrs. Teaberry.  There isn't romance, but it is obvious that the books are showcasing the beauty of companionate love.

Parenting is full of "duh" moments, and one of mine concerns my children's different interests in books.

I think when I had children I sorta expected them to all read and like the same books, although I realized that N's interest in princesses would likely not carry over to the boys, who enjoyed books about diggers and other machines.

N didn't have any interest in nonfiction books, while G loves (and loved) nonfiction books (animals, mythology, video games).

She enjoyed the Magic Treehouse books for a time, but G and M haven't gotten into them (although M still might).

N was reading wordy chapter books by the end of first grade, while wordy chapter books are anathema to G and M.  They like things that are more graphic-novelly.

I try not to fret too much on whether the kids will become avid readers.  I wasn't what I would consider an avid reader as a kid.  I liked reading, but I didn't read as I do now.  I didn't have 2-3 books going at one time, as I do now.  I didn't carry a book with me at all times as I do now.

But when I look at this picture of my bedside table and the stack of books waiting to be read or reread, I have to laugh at G's stack, which is next to mine (D or I read with G in our bedroom, and M reads with the other of us in their shared bedroom).  Apparently, I am passing along that shared love of stacks of books.

My stack:  on the left, includes Moby Dick
G's stack:  on the right, includes The Tiger Rising

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