Friday, March 5, 2010

Good Kids, Good Books

We started reading to our kids when they were tiny. We'd take turns sitting in the rocking chair with a baby on our lap, and we'd read Goodnight Moon if it was get-sleepy time, or But Not the Hippopotamus ("serious silliness for all ages") if it was get-rowdy time. I'm so happy that all three of my kids have developed into serious readers, the kind of kids who read on their own and who feel sad if they don't have a book to read.

C. Peevie has become a fan of Agatha Christie (whom I love) and Martha Grimes (who Mr. Peevie loves but I could never get into). I still read to him occasionally, and C. Peevie laughs at my mispronunciation of the occasional French phrases in Murder on the Orient Express.

He recently finished And Then There Were None by Dame Christie. "Mom!" he said, "that book is awesome! I can't believe how good it was!" I remembered having the same reaction. Every time.

A. Peevie introduced me to Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. He chose it for his book report, and when he finished it, he declared, "That's one of my favorite books now!"

"What did you like about it, A.?" I asked him.

"I like how the old man kept on trying and trying and trying to catch the fish," he said. "I admired his...," he searched for the right word.

"Perseverence?" I suggested?

"Yes," he said. "What does that mean again?"

"It means you keep on trying, and you don't give up," I said.

"Yeah," he agreed. "I admired his perseverence."

M. Peevie is going for more modern, but still excellent choices: the Alanna series, by Tamora Pierce. Most nights she and Mr. Peevie hunker down in her room, and he reads to her, interrupted every 90 seconds or so by her questions, comments and exclamations.

But she also loved Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time (all three of the kids did), and has started on the other titles in the Time Quintet. She's also enjoying C.S. Lewis' Narnia series with me, although it's taking us awhile to get through The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

I love raising readers.

1 comment:

kathryn said...

Oh, I don't blame you. Raising readers means you've set them up with a lifelong love affair with books...and how could that be a bad thing?

Lovely post...lovely tradition. Your children sound like wonderful, inquisitive little people!