Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Book, Book, Book at 5:30 am

The little guy woke us up at 5:30 this morning. Why is that worthy of a blog post instead of a Facebook or Twitter update? Well, because he woke us up with a book. And he kept saying "book, book" over and over until Deb read it to him.

The last few days he's insisted that we read him the same book, each night and last night he went to sleep holding it. The book? The Berenstain Bears on the Moon. This is unusual because up to now he hasn't had a 'must read' book. He has some he likes us reading, but no 'must have' book before bed.

This got me thinking about other books that our kids made us read and books that have specific meanings at various times in our lives. I've been meaning to do this since the Spring. I even sent myself an email outlining this post ;-) I don't remember the trigger specifically, but I'm pretty sure it was something that Elizabeth Lynn Casey did. Who is Elizabeth Lynn Casey? She is the pseudonym for a woman I went to High School with. Turns out she paid attention in the various English classes and is pretty good author. She also has a really good blog here. (No she's not related to Deb, though Deb's maiden name is Casey and I'm pretty sure they knew each other in High School.)

Making good use of Social Media, Elizabeth has questions for her readers or answers questions about her writing almost every day. I can't find which post prompted this idea for me, but here goes. (If this is bad, its her fault ;-)

I don't remember reading books as a little kid, but I know I did read a lot. I distinctly remember going to the library several times with my Mom and that there were always books around our house. My first memory related to a book is reading an Erma Bombeck book and sharing one of the more funny passages with my Grandfather. Only to have him question my Dad about why I was reading things like that as a kid. It took a few more years before I could read things my parents had!

I remember reading Hardy Boys, Encyclopedia Brown, war stories, history and mysteries. I remember going through a Alistair MacClean and Agatha Christie phase and even reading all of Leon Uris' books as a teenager.

I also remember really clearly having my copy of Star Wars taken away by a teacher who caught me reading it in class instead of the science book. That was one of times my parents had the 'we're disappointed in you for doing it, but can't really punish you because it was a good thing to be doing' lectures. Yes there were many, many of those as a kid.

Throw in The Outsiders, That Was Then This is Now, Guadalcanal Diary and many of the fun "school" books and I was always reading.

The book that stands out the most for me in the Green Berets. It was the book I was reading when the really cute brunette 15 year old looked over the seat on the airplane and asked me what I was reading.

Skip ahead a bunch of years, the cute brunette and I had our first Daughter and started reading children's books. Meghan had two favorites, which we read to her every night. The first, Guess How Much I Love You we could recite in our sleep. And probably did a few times. The second was the Sandman. Being a good father I of course made the books fun. One of the pictures has Big Nut Brown Hare bending over to jump and I got Meghan to say 'he's pooping!' each time we got to that page!

Then Courtney came along and she liked the same books as Meghan, but really liked Good Night Moon and some annoying Barbie's little sister horse book. I couldn't stand the Barbie book, but she had to have it each night!

As the girls got older their reading tasks got better (or not ... Twilight, uggh) and I found I was reading a lot of things they were. Yes I've read Tale of Desperaux, Spirit Bear, Deep Dark and Dangerous and all the Harry Potter books. It is a lot of fun to talk to them about the book that we are both reading!

A few days ago I started reading the Berestain Bears book to Christopher and he immediately was interested. He studied each page and even pointed to a few of the pictures and said the appropriate words or word-sounds. As part of his therapy we stop him ever minute or so when he's doing something fun and get him to interact. So things like 'say 'A' or 'say 'rock' or 'what is this?'. With this book he is very responsive. So when ho woke us up at 5:30 Deb read the book to him, but he never went back to sleep!

I hope that when my kids look back like I am now that they have fond memories of all the books we've read together.


ryssee said...

They will remember. Like you, maybe not the books, but definitely the time. You do and so do I. Nice post, Chris!

Katharine and John said...

I love this post, Chris. Books are so important here, too - and Molly's 'go to' is also a Berenstain book! At the moment Anna is into a Disney Cookbook that I got when I was about 10. Your kiddles are so lucky to have such a good Daddy who reads to and with them! It is such an important gift that you have given them.

Elizabeth Lynn Casey said...

Okay, I love this!!! I can remember so many stages of my daughters' lives based on the books we read during each one.

Never stop reading to your kids, Chris. No matter how old. You will make them readers for life!