17 February 2011

Goats and More

Isaac and I have had the flu this week. We have been home for four days coughing and sniffling and aching. I would like to say that we have spent most of our time reading, but I'm afraid not. Reading out loud gives me coughing fits, so the TV has been on a lot the past few days.

Last night, I managed to make it through a couple of stories, and since I was sick I refused to read Junie B. Jones. We read Patricia Polacco instead.

As we started Oh, Look! I realized that it was a loose interpretation of one of Isaac's old favorites, We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. As I read, I asked Isaac what story it sounded like. He kept coming back to Three Billy Goats Gruff since the story centers on three goats who go over, through, and under various obstacles. He finally made the connection, but still was more interested in the goat aspect.

We also read Charlie Parker Played Be Bop by Chris Raschka. Isaac did not like it as well as the "goat book." He prefers stories with action and plot right now, rather than poetry or unstructured prose.

Tonight we will hopefully be back to our regular routine. We have read all of the Junie B. books that we got from the library the other week. Oh, well. I am sure we will survive.

11 February 2011

Something to Crow About

Isaac and I had a really great trip to the library last week. Since we have started reading chapter books, he really wanted to find some more Junie B. Jones books to check out. He has also been reading more to us and we have been choosing some more challenging books for him. So, he and I went to the library with some specific goals in mind.

Typically, on our library trips I choose the books while Isaac plays. This time he was as involved in the choosing as I was. Very enthusiastically, too. I had such a good time watching and helping him add books to our pile that our bag was overflowing when we left the library.

One of the books I found was an older one that I though Isaac would enjoy. It was a North Carolina Children's Book Award nominee a few years ago, and I remembered the students at school laughing quite a bit when I shared it with them.

Bob by Tracey Campbell Pearson is the adventure of a rooster who thinks he is a hen. He clucks instead of crows. Finally, the other farm animals convince him he needs to find his true voice and he wanders around trying out other sounds until he finally finds a rooster to teach him to crow. His trials and errors are laugh-inducing and the results of his efforts are heroic. And it is fun to read.

Isaac enjoyed it, but not as much as Junie B. Jones. I have plenty of others, though, to balance out bedtime for the near future.

01 February 2011

Delayed Reaction

Sometimes you don't know that a book has connected until months, or even years, later. We have owned You Can Do It Sam by Amy Hest for about three years. It is kept with our Christmas books and we read it every December. Then it goes back in the closet until the next year.

You Can Do It Sam is a sweet book about a little bear, Sam, and his mom. They bake muffins for their neighbors and leave them as gifts on doorsteps one early winter morning. Then they return home and share their own treat of muffins and hot cocoa.

Isaac has always liked this book. Sam has the same insecurities and feels the same pride in his accomplishments as many little boys. But I didn't think the story stayed with him much longer than it took to pack the box of Christmas books away with the decorations each January.

So, I was surprised today when Isaac announced on the way home from school that we should count all the houses in our neighborhood, bake muffins, put them in red bags, leave them at all of our neighbors' doors, then come home and have our own muffins and hot cocoa. He wants to do this the next time we stay home for a snow day.

I love that Isaac made this connection with this book. I feel sorry for him that he has a mother who would rather go buy some muffins than bake them. And I fervently hope that there are no snow days in our near future. But, who knows? Maybe next December we will be leaving muffins on our neighbors doorsteps on an idyllic winter morning.