This year’s picks

August 26th, 2008

Every year, since the start of kindergarten, we have bought the kids a book to commemorate that year and to add to their own personal library.  This year’s picks are as follows:

For CT we bought The Invention of Hugo Cabret.   With CT’s love of the graphic novel, art work and spell binding stories we found this to be the perfect match for third grade.

PJ is receiving a book that neither Adam or I have read.

Which, by the way, is a very controversial way of doing things.  I prefer taking several hours to meander through The Wild Rumpus with a coffee, read many, many books, then ask the bookish ladies behind the counter if they happen to have any ideas.  Then I get to read some more, get an additional coffee and then make a decision.

But this year, out of the pages of Wired magazine came The Pet Dragon.   A book not yet out, but seeming to be a good, if not a perfect fit, for our little first grade Chinese Immersion girl.

So here we go, the train is coming fast, hop on with a good book!

House Rule: One must read the book before you see the movie

December 31st, 2007

Over the past few weeks we have been reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to CT.  It is the first really BIG BOY book he has experienced.

In the past we have read picture books, short chapter books and books that are at his level and he can read easily (the Henry and Mudge type). 

All of these books are fine by me, but none of them have taken him to another time or transported him to an amazing place or held his interest to the point were he would talk ad nauseam about what was going on with the characters and the plot line.

And now, now I have seen it.  He has gone to the other side. Over the past three weeks, CT has experienced for the first time that he indeed loves books.  I have seen the twinkle in his eye, the longing desire to have more, the wonderful ability to go somewhere else through the written word.  He has found it.

For a boy who has struggled with words and books, to see this kind of love for a story is exciting for me.  I love reading, I love books, I love the paper books are written on, I love every piece of the experience.  If I could pass that appreciation on to my kids, that would make me very happy.

So we finished the book and last night he got to watch the movie.  He says he liked the movie better.  But at least he read the book first.

Onward to book number two.

This year’s picks

September 5th, 2007

When CT started Kindergarten the principal of the school sat us down and told us about their family’s yearly ritual.  At the beginning of every year she would buy each of her kids a special book picked out just for them.  So each new school year, on the first day of school, she would give them the gift of words and add a book to each child’s library. 

We loved this idea and decided to incorporate it.

When I started off on the search for CT’s first book I had no idea which direction I wanted to go.  After reading through several books I came across Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg.  I loved his pencil renderings and the fact that there was adventure and suspense riddled throughout the book. 

The “adventure theme” continued on into first grade with the Jungle Gym Jitters by Chuck RichardsCT seemed a bit nervous about being such a big kid and the lesson of the story is about courage and “acting in spite of your fright” which seemed to be a nice way to start the year.

This year, for second grade, I took the plunge and bought him The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn and Hal Iggulden. This will be a book that will live on for many years in our house.  It’s amazing from a parent’s as well as a child’s perspective.  Page through it if you can, my guess is you won’t leave the store without it. 

And today PJ got her first book.  It was a hard decision to find something that fit her personality, chutzpah and touched on the wonderfully exciting experience that she was about to embark on.  I found Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth.  The illustrations are fabulous and the stories thought-provoking. 

Here’s to raising kids who love books, there are so many good ones out there.  What are some of your favorites?