Isaac's reading has improved exponentially this year. I credit his teacher . . . everyone who knew her told us when they heard who Isaac would have for 1st grade that he would be reading by the end of the year . . . they were right.
He is more confident and much more willing to read at bedtime. He will even try reading something new on his own. The other weekend, Isaac took a book up to our bedroom to read while he waited for Matt to get ready for soccer. He sat and read Calvin and Hobbes comics, even trying to sound out words like "salubrious." This is not the same child who cried when I asked him to read last summer.
I have been bringing home books that are on his reading level to make sure he had plenty of books he could read independently. One recent one was Noisy Nora by Rosemary Wells. This was one of my childhood favorites. I remember reading about Nora and all the trouble she caused when I was Isaac's age.
Like me, he laughed when Nora's father yelled to be quiet after she dropped the marbles all over the floor and when her sister asked why she was so dumb after she flew the kite down the stairs. Isaac liked the book so much that we read it two or three nights in a row.
I didn't laugh as much this time as I re-read the book, at least not at Nora's antics. I laughed quite a bit with Isaac just because his laughter was contagious. But, now that I am an adult, Nora seems like a much more sympathetic character. She is a forgotten middle child who is vying for attention. She makes noise and creates messes to get a reaction out of her parents who are consumed with the needs of her older sister and baby brother.
I was not a forgotten middle child and Isaac does not have any siblings with whom to vie for attention. We are not Nora. But children who feel forgotten by busy parents or supplanted by a new baby will empathize with Nora, though they will hopefully find less messy ways to get attention and also feel loved as Nora finally does in the story.