Welcome to Repost Week: the picture book edition. While my life currently resembles a scene from Alexander, Who’s Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going To Move, I’m treating you to some oldies but goodies. I wrote this when oldest child was about four–he’s seven now–and sharing books with my children has only gotten better!
One of the exciting things about being a parent is introducing books to my little ones. They go from interacting with the physical books–chewing them, pulling them off shelves, stuffing them in various holes, crevices and nooks, turning pages and pointing to pictures–to interacting with the story itself. This is the fun stage my oldest son is at; he enacts the stories (though the enthusiastic chopping down of Truffula trees with an axe made out of Tinkertoys is not, perhaps the take-home message of The Lorax), talks about them and brings them into his real life.
The other day, while we were out on a family walk, the Firstborn started to make grimacing faces. “Look, Mommy! I smile at the good and frown at the bad*!” I cracked up and after that we were off and running, with the literary allusions flying fast and thick between us, calling the full moon a bowl of milk** and me teasing him that I would turn into a pumpkin at eight. (He insisted I would be a hen instead, then got upset when I made clucking noises, and turned me back into Mommy.)
I love how kids get into stories. I love that, after reading One Morning in Maine, the Firstborn took his sister to dig clams in our yard (good luck, kids!). I love that he’s memorized whole books; the other day he sidled up to me and told me that he’d be my best friend and give me five bucks if I let him drive the bus***. Oh, and he bet my mom would let him. I love how kids just dive into the material; playacting, drawing, building, asking questions, reinterpreting, weaving these stories into the fabric of their lives.
And I love how shared reading experiences bring us together as a family. That we can use these books as springboards for games, shared activities, crafts, silly inside jokes, serious conversations.
Here’s to many more years of sharing stories.
* Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
** Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
*** Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
What are some of your favorite quotable books (picture books or otherwise)? Which quotes have become part of your family’s culture?
Very oddly, considering how book-oriented my family and my sister’s family are (and how many books we own), we don’t really have many quoted books yet. My nephew is much more into movies than books right now. He is quoting movies INCESSANTLY, and, half the time, we have to ask him what the line is from, because we don’t recognize it ourselves. LOL! Though he used to say, “And you shall have no pie! Meow meow meow!” from a version of The Three Kittens lost their mittens book that he loved. I suspect books will start becoming much bigger influences for him in the coming year.
Ooh, yes, some movies/shows are very quotable. The kids aren’t into quoting movies, though, since they’re not exposed to many.
Rabia, My girls are 10 + 12 and we are still quoting Eloise and making up new adventures for Eloise! Calvin & Hobbes is frequently quoted, and I love that they “get” the humour.
Best wishes in recuperating from the move, and in your new adventures!
I love Calvin and Hobbes, though I’m afraid Calvin might be a bad influence on my oldest child *grin*.