Saturday, August 25, 2012

Speaking of Books

C received a brand-new copy of Charlotte's Web for her fourth birthday in February--and as you can see, this book has since become a major favorite. She received two other E. B. White books in the same box set, and we first started with Stuart Little, but she rejected it (apparently, the first chapter was a little too exciting for her). So we began Charlotte's Web, and it immediately captivated her imagination. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that we've read it at least ten times. We typically read a chapter a day, during D's naptime (though he adores picture books, he doesn't quite have the patience for chapter books yet). Honestly, I don't think I will ever tire of reading E. B. White's fabulous prose, and love to see C becoming a little bookworm. When we neared the end during the first read, I was wondering if the death of Charlotte would be too much for her. But it is so beautifully written, and ends on such a hopeful note, that I came to realize that this is actually a nice, gentle introduction to the topic.

(It's also very cute to hear C and D saying words like "salutations!" and "idiosyncracy," even when they aren't entirely sure what they mean.)

C&D are also huge fans of the Alfie and Annie Rose books, and we recently checked out the first Paddington book from the library, which C enjoyed. Though we haven't re-read The Secret Garden yet, she still loves that one too. The other afternoon I peeked into the children's room to see C&D snuggled up on their bed with the book open on C's lap. D was saying excitedly, "Dat Colin's daddy!" and pointing at a picture. "No," C said gently, "That's not Colin's daddy. That's Colin's doctor." To which D replied his default response to being enlightened by his sister: "Oh!"

And while we're on the topic, I have to mention Sparkle Stories. C received a year's subscription for her birthday, and she listens to at least one story every day during quiet time. These stories are gentle and sweet, and we all love listening to them. (See above for how C likes to enjoy them: snuggled in our bed with her dolls.)

D's current obsession, though, is in the musical realm. He loves "Life's a Happy Song" from the Muppets movie so much. (We listen to the one on the soundtrack, but I also adore this version. The children actually haven't seen the movie, but we knew they would enjoy the cheerful tune. It is, however, incredibly catchy, and I think we may be destined to have it perpetually in our heads for the foreseeable future.) D wants to listen to it every day, and when we turn it on, he starts running back and forth sing/shouting the chorus in his adorable toddlerese: "My dot ebwyting my need white in fwont a me" (translation: "I've got everything I need right in front of me"). It sure is hard to be cranky while listening to this song, though! Here he is singing a few bars before he bats the camera away:

(For the record, other current musical favorites are Elizabeth Mitchell and Frances England.)

Anyway, went a little off-topic there, but I want to know: what were your favorite (or your children's favorite) books growing up? I'm always looking for more great classics to add to the collection!

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