12 September 2010

Whatcha Reading?

I am more than a little pleased tonight. Isaac actually asked to go to the library after school tomorrow. We have been going just about every week this month and bringing home a nice pile of books to read. He likes to go and play and he specifically said that he wanted me to pick out the new books, but he WANTS to go! This is such a huge change from his adamant refusals over the summer that I am grinning from ear to ear. So we will head to the library after taekwondo tomorrow and I will choose another bag full of books to read this week.

Isaac has shown definite preference for a couple of the books we checked out on our last visit. He loves Mo Willems' newest series about "Cat the Cat." These books are simple and repetitive and after one reading he can "read" it to us. I prefer his "Elephant and Piggie" series, myself. They have a more sophisticated tone and drier sense of humor. But Cat the Cat and her friends (Hound the Hound, Horse the Horse, Pig the Pig, etc.) are exuberant and fun and Isaac requested them repeatedly.

Another book that he loved was Wendel's Workshop by Chris Riddell. Wendel is an inventor who has a bad habit of tossing anything that doesn't work. His backyard looks like a scene from Wall*E. He invents a robot to tidy his house, but his invention works a little too well and Wendel gets himself tidied right out of his own workshop. He has an epiphany while sitting on his scrap pile and uses his failed inventions to take back his space. Isaac loved looking at the pictures, especially the last one where the conquered Wendelbot has been made into an oversized flower pot. It is a story that teaches about perseverance and, indirectly, recycling and there is a lot of humor in the illustrations to get children giggling.

The last one I will mention from this week's library pile is Beverly Billingsly Can't Catch by Alexander Stadler. Matt and I probably like this one a bit more than Isaac does because the lesson is very timely for our family right now. Beverly is great at academics, but not so great at sports. She and her friend, Oliver, are always picked last for sports teams, especially softball. They decide to change that by learning how to play the game. Matt and I both appreciate the message that you can learn to do anything if you try hard and practice. You may not end up being the best, but you will get better. Isaac is playing t-ball again and taking taekwondo. We stress to him the importance of trying his hardest at both and I don't think there is another kid on the t-ball field that is as focused and intent on the game as Isaac is each week. Beverly just happens to be coached in softball by a pretty cool librarian who tells her not everything can be learned in a book, so that's another plus for this one, as well.

With school starting and taekwondo lessons and t-ball practices and church functions to shuttle to, not to mention the homework and other daily tasks that we are trying to keep up with, my goal is to try and post something once a week. If we can manage a weekly library trip, hopefully I will have some of Isaac's favorites to write about. So keep your fingers crossed that we keep up this momentum, otherwise we may be reduced to writing about one of the twenty "Curious George" books that Isaac has collected.

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