Friday, August 10, 2012

My Kids and Reading

You all see what I'm reading with Bit on a regular basis because she likes to share her thoughts with you. What I'm reading with the Little Man doesn't come up often. He is only four, and doesn't care to share his opinions as much as his vociferous sister.

He also has a very different relationship to and experience with books.

I have done pretty much the same thing with both of my kids and they responded to it completely differently. They are both being raised in a home where books and reading are highly valued and modeled. They were both read to since they were in utero. When Bit was four she couldn't get enough of books. She wanted to read all the time. She pulled novels off shelves and begged me to read them to her. We went through a shelf full of picture books a day at least as I read one after another.

The Little Man couldn't be more different. He loves books too, but he wants to experience them on his own terms. He will sit and occupy himself for hours looking at books, but rarely wants me to read them to him. I ask. I plead. I beg. "No thanks," is the response I most often get. At least he's polite. There are exceptions to this though and right now those exceptions are:
The Duckling Gets a Cookie by Mo Willems
Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems
Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham
In that order. Every time. And it is a loooong process.

Because I can't just read them all the way through. We have to discuss every single page at length. Why do the cookies have nuts? Why is Pigeon mad? Why does Piggie like chocolate ice cream? Why? Why? Why? He has to compare the page with Gerald's long drawn out "Nooooooo!" to Pigeon's long drawn out "Nooooo !" When we get to Moose's rampage through O, P, and Q he compares it to the image of Pigeon freaking out. He talks about how he gets in trouble if he does that. Every. Single. Time. Which is to say every day. Sometimes more than once a day. It completely breaks up the rhythm of my read aloud and used to drive me demented. Until I stopped to really think about it and now I go with it and appreciate his way of taking in books. (Needless to say, I don't even attempt to take him to library story time.) 

And do you notice how those books all have themes of disappointment softened by friendship? He does that too. His book obsessions have themes. This is, by far, the most complex one yet.

Bit devours books. She scarfs them down and demands more. The Little Man savors his slowly, trying to figure out every spice and flavor that created them and his response to them. Is one way better or more beneficial than the other? I can tell you that the way each one reads fits their personalities to a T.


  1. LOVE it! I wonder what Claire will be like.

    1. I'm eager to see what Claire will be like too.