Saturday, June 03, 2006

all different books at once

My own current reading material is The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame. I always saw myself reading this book to one of the boys. We do have a book that is basically one of the chapters of the original book, slightly abbreviated. This is also one of those books I feel that I really should have read by now, but apparently I haven't.

This book, though I haven't quite finished it yet, has been so much fun to read. I've laughed out so much throughout this book, more than my cynical old ass probably ought to if I want to maintain my edgy rep. I may actually slip this into The Boy's bedtime reading. Which brings me to the next book.

I discovered a few weeks ago that I could read a story or two from either of A.A. Milne's two books, Winnie the Pooh or The House at Pooh Corner. I first learned that he would listen to them by tricking him into going to sleep while I read. It worked wonderfully for a short time. I'm guessing that we can move onto other similarly structured books now. The Wind in the Willows should be perfect for this. While the book is a whole story, the chapters are all little stories in themselves and can generally act as a story on there own. I love when a book makes me excited to share it with the boys.

Of course The Wind in the Willows is the story of Mole who, while in the middle of his spring cleaning decides to leave home. He's taken by some desire to travel and ends up at the river where he make a friend in a Water Rat. They of course have a series of adventures as does Toad, who gets in quite a bit of trouble on his own. In addition to really delightful and funny stories, this is one of those perfect books that tells great stories using real words. It's not dumbed down for kids in any way. It was also published originally in 1908. It does seem to me that there is something to be said for treating children like normal as opposed to "not quite," as in those horrible books where all the sentences are four monosyllabic words, one sentence to a page coupled with ugly simplistic art.

Our next and final book is Cornelia Funke's Inkheart. I read this book a few months ago by myself and tried to convince Big Brother to read it. It was perfect, one of those books that quietly lures you in. It's a book about books, or one book really and a whole new power of words. It's the first in a series. It certainly has some dark moments throughout, and I'm not sure that all parents would be comfortable with younger kids reading this book, but that's hard for me to judge. Between what we've read with him and what he's read on his own, Big Brother has quite a few books under his belt for his age. Which of course means that this is the book I'm reading with Big Brother before his bedtime. I hate to get too much into this book because it's best read. It isn't a book that I'd want to enter with preconceptions, so I won't bother here.

We also currently have The Fairy Stories of Oscar Wilde, and from the special Newbery shelf at the library, Arthur Bowie Chrisman Shen of the Sea: Chinese Stories for Children and Harold Keith's Rifles for Watie. The latter two books I'm not at all familiar with. Rifles is set in the Civil War, so it stood out having just finished the first of the Shelby Foote Civil War books. Shen of the Sea just sounded interesting. Picking Oscar Wilde is self explanatory.

I'm going to read a grownup book again soon. I really am, and I just may write about it.

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