So I am taking the leap into this blogging thing. My husband, Matt, suggested a few months ago that we start a joint blog about books that we read to our son, Isaac. The idea intrigued me, but I was finishing an intensive project at the time and entering the final part of the school year, so I put it on my mental "summer projects" list. Now, summer has begun and school is out for a couple of months, so here goes.
The reasons my better half suggested the topic that he did were a) I am an elementary school librarian by profession, so kiddie lit is my job, b) we are raising a son who, right now, enjoys being read to, and c) he thought it was something we could do together, a bonding thing to keep our relationship "fresh."
In this blog I intend to discuss books that we read to Isaac, books that will appeal to boys in general (if there is such a thing), and occasionally other boy/kid related "stuff." I will put forth this disclaimer before I get started: we tend to ignore age appropriate references on books, movies, toys, etc. that we buy Isaac or let him watch or use. We pay more attention to the content of the material and what he is interested in, always keeping in mind safety, of course. He has watched, and enjoyed, some movies that parents of other children his age would probably raise their eyebrows at, Matt regularly buys and reads comic books with him, and he doesn't watch much children's programming because we find most of it intolerable.
So why did I take Matt's idea and run with it? In my work life I hear, and read, a lot about boys and books: how to raise them to read and keep them reading into and past adolescence. I want my son to be a reader. I want him to enjoy books and continue to enjoy them when he is an adult. According to many educational studies, this will be a challenge because boys tend to be readers in elementary school, but then fall off the reading wagon as they get older. So, if I can find books that Isaac relates to, or that the boys I teach enjoy, then sharing them may help other parents who want for their sons the same thing I do.
Okay, so now and then I will be sharing "cute" moments, along with book discussions. Here's the first. Our family took a road trip this past weekend and were in the car for about 3 1/2 hours each way. While we don't tend to allow Isaac to watch TV or movies much, we have traveled long distances by car enough that we do resort to the portable DVD player for out-of-town road trips. Well, on the way home we didn't turn the movie on right away. We just didn't think about it and he didn't ask for it. We had visited the used book store the night before we left and Isaac had new books in his backpack that we hadn't gotten around to reading yet. For the first half of the ride home he entertained himself by intently looking through all of the books, one of them a "chapter" length Hulk comic, on which he spent the most time, of course. Matt and I listened to him as he narrated parts of the books and quietly peeked at him from our front seats and smiled at each other. At that moment, at least, I felt hope that his future as a reader was pretty secure and I reveled in his fascination with the pages in his lap.