Monday, October 5, 2009
Books About Books
One of the joys of reading is reading about reading. Talk about having your cake and eating it too! Now if I could get my book group to do a book about reading, so I could talk about reading about reading. Maybe I'll write a book about that.
Not only do I like books about books, I like books about the process and the development of reading. I'm fascinated by the different ways people learn to read, and it's been fun to watch three different kids take three different paths, and now to see N starting to pick out letters. Knowing him, his path will have many detours and unusual finds, but will end up in a lovely place. In the meantime, it's good to be reminded of the joys of reading together. Pam Allyn's What To Read When: The Books and Stories to Read with Your child -- and All the Best Times to Read Them vibrates with her enthusiasm for sharing books with her kids, your kids, any kids she can tackle and read with. Although she delights in the bedtime read, she also pushes for reading during the bath, or while building with legos, or during breakfast. She knows that different kids have different interest points, but she trusts in parents to find good times to build a reading nest somewhere. Maybe this kid likes to quietly curl up in bed, but that one hates to miss out and wants a reading nook in the kitchen. Since I am enthusiastically addicted to text, I lapped this stuff up.
The final few hundred pages are long lists of books, organized by theme and marked with rough age guidelines. I didn't get as many ideas from this book, mainly because we apparently share many of the same tastes. Clearly Allyn is a woman of rare taste and discrimination! But I did grab one idea; I've started checking out picture books from the library, and grabbing some of ours as well. I had gotten out of the picture book habit since my boys are reading independently, but our chaotic bedtimes lately have meant very truncated read-alouds of our current chapter book. Something about seeing my bed strewn with a dozen big books to choose from has reminded us to cuddle up to read. Even more delightfully, we are taking turns reading them. It's been fun to see the different approaches the kids take, and hear them talk about what the books are about. I recommend Allyn's books to parents who aren't confident about what books to read with their toddlers through elementary kids, and to anyone interested in sharing kidlit with any kids hanging about. B+