Thursday, July 19, 2018

The RAHK Report for 7/19/18

The first part of our summer has mostly been focused on our upcoming move to a larger townhouse, which will be happening between August 1 and August 6. But even in the midst of packing our books into boxes, we still find time to read a few here and there. Here are some of the titles we have recently enjoyed.

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

I will readily admit that I strongly, strongly disliked this book. Pippi irritated me, and I really just wanted an adult to come along and straighten her out. But both Little Miss Muffet (age 4 years, 8 months) and Little Bo Peep (age 2 years, 10 months) absolutely loved her. We read one chapter after lunch each day, and there were times when they literally cheered when I picked up the book. Bo Peep now frequently announces that she wants to be called Pippi, and Miss Muffet has expressed interest in the other books of the series. I've decided it's fine with me if they want to read the rest, but it will either have to be an audiobook or my husband who provides the narration. I've had all I can take!

The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner

When I was cleaning out some of my childhood possessions during a visit to my hometown in June, I came upon the set of Boxcar Children paperbacks my mom read to me and my sister when we were kids. Knowing that Miss Muffet has been enjoying the Happy Hollisters books, I decided to let her try the first book of this series. It is now six weeks later, and she has read the first two books and listened to the first five in audio format. I am borrowing the audiobooks from Hoopla, where I have a monthly limit of 10 items so I've had to limit the audiobooks a little bit, since I also get music and books for myself from there. I have asked her to read the physical copies of the books she has listened to before we move onto the next set of audiobooks, and she seems agreeable to that.

Mitch and Amy by Beverly Cleary

Another audiobook that Miss Muffet has been enjoying a lot is Mitch and Amy by Beverly Cleary. Each time she listens to it, she seems to pick up some new turn of phrase. This week, it was "odd's bodkin," which Mitch uses as an example of the kind of fun language he likes to hear in books. She also marched up to me after being asked to do something and said, "You can count on me, Mom!" When I asked her where she got that, she said, "Mitchell!" For some reason, he, much more than Amy, has been the character to make an impression on her. I remember borrowing this book from the library again and again as a kid, so I'm thrilled that she is enjoying it so much. If she's going to keep quoting such specific passages to me, I'll probably need a re-read myself!

Gyo Fujikawa's A to Z Picture Book

Bo Peep is going through a stage where everything falls into one of two categories: "my favorite" and "not my favorite." This book, and specifically the page of babies for the letter B, has been placed firmly in the favorites category. She is constantly pointing things out in the book, and if she's not sure where she had it last, we all have to look for it until it's found. She doesn't really have the patience to sit and listen to the actual printed words, but she does like to discuss the details of every picture at length. She also enjoys showing the pictures to Little Jumping Joan (9 months).

The Complete Book of Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker

I started reading a few poems from this book each day after lunch, and the two big girls have become completely obsessed with the different fairies. We have read the entire section about summer fairies as well as the A to Z fairies, and we spent a lot of time looking at the illustrations to determine which fairies looked the most like which of our girls, and which flowers we recognized. Last week, we even made some fairy wings for the girls to wear around the house. We'll be revisiting this one again and again as the seasons pass.

Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I hesitate to even mention this series right now, after the recent kerfuffle over the renaming of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award (which, for the record, I oppose), but it has been a major part of my girls' imaginative lives this year so far. It has been months since my husband read aloud Little House in the Big Woods, but there is not a day that goes by where Miss Muffet and Bo Peep do not play "Laura and Mary." This game usually consists of holding hands and walking down the street together or curling up together under a blanket. I don't see my kids echoing any racist ideals they may have heard in the books; what they have learned is the value of siblings, and how to be kind, loyal, and loving toward their own sisters.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read the Little House books to my daughter yet, but I would like to do so. I wasn't a fan of the renaming either. My daughter feels like she knows Laura and Mary anyway because we had a set of Little House in the Big Woods paper dolls that she loved to pieces.