Ticklish Ears

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Children’s Books

Sometime back I listed several books in my summer reading queue. I’ve been through a couple of those and will get back eventually with my thoughts. But I’d like to talk about my other summer reading program: reading to my daughter.

To be honest, this is really just a continuation of our normal reading time, which occurs just before she goes to sleep. We have a routine (parents will tell you that routine is important to children, and that’s certainly the case with ours): she picks out a story or chapter for me to read, and I pick one out. Then I sing two songs of her choosing. Then I say prayers over her. Then I sing my special song to her (inherited from my Dad). Then Mommy takes over with her routine.

But back to the books. We just had recommended to us “The Boxcar Children.” So on a recent trip to DC, I stopped by Borders and found a copy. We began reading it late last month. I was immediately impressed by the use of language, especially in the conversations between the four siblings who are the protagonists of the story. It was delightful to read. What impressed me more was how quickly my daughter fell in love with the story. She couldn’t wait to get to the next two chapters each night. And when it was finished, she pleaded with me to get the next book in the series (which I still need to do).

I have asked her why she is so drawn to this story, but she either can’t or won’t tell me. I think she’s intrigued by how these four orphans manage to survive on their own. Their adventures (so far) aren’t particularly exciting. But it’s cool how they manage to make even the simplest things (like fixing dinner) seem so interesting.

Besides the uplifting and rich language of the story, I like the emphasis on encouragement, teamwork, responsibility, and work ethic. The fact that these children are able to entertain themselves without any modern conveniences (or distractions) is also appealing. I’m confident that these positive themes will continue into the subsequent stories.

Since finishing “Boxcar,” we’ve been through “Meet Kirsten: An American Girl? (yes, one of those American Girls). That was much shorter, but was also a nice story, if not on par with “The Boxcar Children.”

Next up, something completely different: “The Odyssey? (as retold by Geraldine McCaughrean). It’s written at a level that’s a bit above my daughter’s, but I think she understood and enjoyed the first chapter tonight.

I love reading to my girl. I take pleasure in reading each character’s dialogue as I think they would sound. I especially love it when the book is well-written, and I’m thankful that we’ve managed to discover so much quality literature already. There’s no shortage of shallow, mediocre children’s books, but it’s not hard to find the treasures.

As much as I enjoy reading these books, my hope is that this will instill in our daughter a love of reading for herself. I do know I need to cherish our reading routine as long as I can. It won’t last forever.

4 Responses to “Children’s Books”

  1. The Education Wonks Says:

    The Carnival Of Education: Week 18

    Welcome to the eighteenth edition of The Carnival Of Education. Here we have assembled a variety of interesting and informative posts from around the EduSphere that have been submitted by various authors and readers. As with other editions, those ent…

  2. Lennie Says:

    Great post. My daughter loves the American Girls books as well. She also loves the Sisters in Time books. They are similar to the American Girls books, all are historical period time books.

    I would also recommend the Chronicles of Narnia if she is around 10. My daughter will be starting that series this summer. I want her to read the book befoer the movie comes out this December.

  3. David Says:

    Lennie:

    Thanks! I’ll have to check out Sisters in Time. And yes, I’m already thinking about Narnia (even though she’s only seven). I feel the same way about reading through it with her before seeing the movie (although the movie looks like it may be too intense for her yet).

  4. Ticklish Ears » What I’m Reading - Gramma’s Attic Says:

    […] Anyway, I thought I’d briefly mention a couple of books that have recently been a part of the bedtime reading ritual. The books are from the Gramma’s Attic series. We were introduced to this series by our daughter’s Godparents, who gave her In Gramma’s Attic. We liked it so much that we’ve now been through two more books by the author, Arleta Richardson. […]

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