Thursday, January 24, 2008

New read-aloud

In thinking about what children's books to take to Fresno (I hate baggage restrictions--I am sure to have to pay for extra!), I quickly had to pare down to just the skinny ones and the paperbacks. It is important to have fun reading to children, so that was a criteria too.

A couple of the new ones I am taking are by Anne Dewdney. Llama, Llama Red Pajama and Llama Mad at Mama. Red Pajama is a bedtime book and will be very familiar to parents with young children. The newest, Llama Mad at Mama shows Llama Llama and Mama going to Shop-A-Rama on Saturday. It too will touch some lives. The best thing about these books is the expressions Dewdney has given Llama Llama throughout. These are not out in paperback yet, so I had to borrow my grandchildren's copy of Red PJ and buy the new one.

I am also using some cartoons copied out of Mem Fox's Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever. One shows a mother hen reading to her egg; one depicts the Nativity scene with the the magi lined up with their gifts--Jesus turns to Mary and says, "I was really hoping for books."

It will be fun. I will try to innoculate everyone I see with the joy of books.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Reading Together

I took a little vacation from blogging to prepare some presentations I am making later this month.

Those presentations are about reading (wonder why they asked me?). I will be doing two classes at the Fresno Zoe Conference. One on Good Books for Families (good books for children) and one on Good Books for Spiritual Growth (good books on the spiritual disciplines). Then on the last day of the month, I will speak to the Mothers of Young Children at Otter on 17 Ways not to Raise a Reader (books for toddlers). So, you see, I have been inundated by books!

Rereading all my material on these subjects has caused me to notice how long I have been at this--for nearly 40 years!!!!! I do hope I have helped the cause along the way--it has been fun and continues to be.

Julius Lester, the poet. has the most wonderful quotation about this topic: Reading together links our souls like pearls on a string, bringing us together in a shared and luminous humanity." That about says it all; it is true of families reading together, Christians reading together, and even book clubs reading together.

I was so excited when I went to Borders to spend my Christmas gift card-- Geraldine Brooks, one of my favorite authors, has a new book People of the Book. It is the story behind an ancient illustrated manuscript of the Bible--all the people and events surrounding its many years of history. So far, I am loving it. Brooks also wrote Year of Wonders and March which won the Pulitzer. She is a historian and very descriptive writer. I recommend all three books.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

New singer in the wings

Putting the grandchildren to bed last night took a while. Sam was the last to go down. He hummed his usual little ditty for a long time and then broke out in full-scale song. He sang "Jesus Loves Me", "Jingle Bells" and "Happy Birthday." We had just had a little family birthday dinner for Ella, so that song was fresh on his mind. I just stood and listened from the hall, not wanting to stop him; he eventually wore out and slept.

Maybe someday Samuel Scott Thomas will follow in his parents' footsteps and be a singer!