Reading With Ian

POD_Sept.25_H.is.for.HatsI saw a great quote yesterday in the hallway at Ian’s school — “You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.” — Dr. Seuss

That is so true!   I love to read to Ian and now with him.  He is a great reader and loves his books. That makes me really and truly happy!

Ever since he was a toddler and earlier, he has loved reading.  He liked looking at the pictures and hearing us read to him.

I loved having him sit on my lap as we read a story together.  Then as he got older and learned to read, I loved having him cover my mouth and read a page to me.  What special and terrific memories.

Some of our favorite books that make us laugh are by Dr. Seuss.  We love the rhyming, the funny and made-up animals and words, the stories, the messages and morals being taught, and the great pictures as well.

Dr. Seuss had a great respect for children and enjoyed entertaining them.  He taught great life lessons through his stories.  I thank him for hours and hours of entertainment.  And, hope to one day write a children’s book that is half as much fun.  I will certainly do my best.

When Ian was still quite young, we signed up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.  Each month from birth to age 5, children receive books at no cost to the family.  We still have all of these books, which are age appropriate.  This amazing gift was treasured by our family.  We were sad when he turned 5 years old and received his last book.

Now, we go to the city library each month or more frequently. We have continued the enjoyment of new books and stories on a regular basis.  We are so very blessed and thankful that Ian is such a great reader and truly loves books. That is a wonderful blessing.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Cuddling with Ian as we read a book
  • A boy who was worried he couldn’t learn to read but stuck with it
  • The monthly gift of reading during his preschool years
  • Listening to Ian read each evening
  • A son who truly loves books

I wonder what book or books we will read tonight before bed?  I cannot wait to find out.  That is one of the best parts of my day!

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Wednesday!  Hope you are having a great one so far.  This photo is of a younger Ian reading a book.  He still likes books as much now as he did then.  Now he really likes Lego books, books from the library, his items from the Imagination Library, and several wonderful books by Dr. Seuss.

Last night before he went to bed, we read One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. Thus the title for my blog today.  “Mommy, did you know that this book was written by a man named Theodor?” he asked me.  “Yes, Ian, you are exactly right.  His real name is Thedor Seuss Geisel,” I responded.

Then we took turns reading the pages.  As I turned each page, he put his hand over my mouth so he could read.  This made me so happy since he so much wanted to help read the story out loud,  He did a great job too!  He knew almost all of the words and sounded out those he didn’t.

Here are a few of the pages that he read,

  • “Yes, some are red.  And some are blue.  Some are old and some are new.  Some are sad.  And some are glad.”
  • “We see them come.  We see them go.  Some are fast. And some are slow.”
  • “Bump! Bump! Bump! Did you ever ride a Wump? We have a Wump with just one hump.”
  • “Hello there, Ned. How do you do? Tell me, tell me what is new? How are things in your little bed? What is new? Please tell me, Ned.”
  • “The moon was out and we saw some sheep.  We saw some sheep take a walk in their sleep.”
  • “Did you ever fly a kite in bed? Did you ever walk with ten cats on your head?”

Those are just part of what he read.  A few of the pages made him laugh (including that last bullet) and he commented several times on the rhyming words.  Reading the book this way took longer than normal, but was so worth it.

My favorite lines/pages of this book are, “From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere” and “Oh me! Oh my! Oh me! Oh my! What a lot of funny things go by.”  I love the idea of encouraging kids to see the fun and funny things in life.  After all, there are certainly many of them.

I love so many of the Dr. Seuss books and think he is a genius in his writing.  His rhymes and made up characters are loved by me and by Ian.  They truly span the ages.  Isn’t that awesome?!  My dream would be to write like this amazingly gifted man did.  Some of our favorites are The Sleep Book, Horton Hatches The Egg, Horton Hears A Who, Fox in Socks, If I Ran The Zoo, and The Sneetches and Other Stories.

Thank you Dr. Seuss for writing such fun and engaging words for us to enjoy!  You truly had an amazing gift of drawing in young readers and keeping them interested!  He also taught children important lessons through the stories.  At Ian’s school, they recently studied him and he enjoyed that a lot.

I wonder what book we will read at bedtime tonight?  I also wonder what books Ian will read throughout the day?  I look forward to finding out and am thrilled that he loves reading as much as I do!!!!

Imagination Library Graduate

Ian loves books and has for as long as I can remember.  This is in part because of his participation in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which started at a very young age.

In the state of Tennessee and a few others, children can be registered at birth and receive a book a month until they turn 5 years old.  Isn’t that an amazing gift?  I certainly think so!!

Pictured is Ian reading the first book that he got in the program — “Skippyjon Jones Up & Down” by Judy Schachner.  He was fascinated with the pictures and story. He enjoyed listening to us read it to him too.

We didn’t register him until he was about 7 months old so he still didn’t receive all of the books he could have during this first 5 years of life, but he now has an impressive collection.

Since he turned 5 years old on Tuesday, he has graduated from this program.  I am a bit sad since we so looked forward to what the books would be each month.  They were right on track with his age and interest.  Clearly they have a staff who knows about children’s books.

The good thing about this program was him seeing and reading books that we probably wouldn’t have picked on our own or hadn’t heard about.  Now he likes a variety of books and has learned to love reading.

Imagination Library was created by Dolly Parton.  She grew up in Tennessee and wanted to do something to give back to the community and the state.  Thank God for Dolly since she has done so much for childhood literacy!

This morning I looked at the program’s web site (www.imaginationlibrary.com) and saw that more than 600,000 children are currently enrolled.  That is an amazing amount of books being given away!

The book that Ian received this week for graduation includes a really nice letter from Dolly Parton.  The book itself is about kindergarten, “Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come!” by Nancy Carlson. This is great for getting kids ready for the next step.

Dolly Parton’s graduation letter says in part, “My, how time flies.  It seems it was only yesterday when your family and friends read you your first story.  You were just a baby.  Now you’re five years old and about to go to school.  How exciting!

“This may be your last book from my Imagination Library but you have to promise me you will keep on reading,”  the letter continues.

Yes, Mrs. Parton, we promise to continue reading and will go to our local library regularly to keep the love of reading alive in Ian!

We also like the new and used book stores, and Ian has a closet in his room that is his at-home library.  He will often say, “Mommy, I’m reading in my library.”  I love to hear that sentence!

My dream would be to write a children’s book that would be included in this collection!  That would truly be amazing!

Some of our favorites from this program have been:

  • “Skippyjon Jones Up & Down” by Judy Schachner
  • “Otis” by Loren Long
  • “Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain” by Verna Aardema
  • “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats, a winner of The Caldecott Medal
  • “The House That Jack Built” by Jeanette Winter
  • “Easy Street” by Rita Gray (about how roads are made)
  • “The Tale of Pip and Squeak” by Kate Duke
  • “Firefighters to the Rescue!” by Kersten Hamilton
  • “The Little Engine That Could” by Watty Piper
  • “Holler Loudly” by Cynthia Leitich Smith

We will continue to read and hopefully can provide new books to Ian on a regular basis.  And, we hope that this program continues to grow and awaken the love of books in other children as it has in Ian.

Thanks again to Dolly Parton and the entire Imagination Library staff and authors of the books!  You are providing such an amazing service to so many!!

We Love To Read

“To read is to fly: it is to soar to a a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries.” — A.C. Grayling

“The habit of reading is the only enjoyment in which there is no alloy; it lasts when all other pleasures fade.” — Anthony Trollope

“If you can read this, thank a teacher.” — Anonymous teacher

“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss

“Children are made readers on the laps on their parents.” — Emile Buchwald

One of my favorite things to do is sit and read a good book. How about you?

A comfy chair or couch, or the beach, a good drink (depending on the temperature and weather, it could be a cold glass of water or hot cocoa), and a real book.  Ah bliss.  I like hard or soft bound books and ones with interesting art on the cover and a great story inside.  I still haven’t converted over the E-Books — at least not yet.

I enjoy being transported into another place and watching the characters deal with issues or learn something new about themselves. Some of my favorite authors are Carol Higgins Clark, Danielle Steel, David Baldacci, John Grisham, Wendy Corsi Staub, Jane Green, and Nora Roberts.  And, I have recently discovered Karen McQuestion and Jane Porter.

When I was younger, I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House on the Prairie” series as well as “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis, and “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett was another childhood favorite.

I also enjoy biographies of people such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Amy Grant, Julie Andrews, Susan Boyle, Ricky Martin, and Dean Martin as well as many, many other fascinating people.  And the story of Anne Frank is truly sad and moving. Finding out what makes people tick and their life history is truly fascinating to me.

I also enjoy reading my soap magazine to find out about the actors who tell the stories that I so enjoy.  And, it’s been fun that I have met a few of them through the years.  As you see, I have a wide variety of tastes.

And, now having a 4-year-old soon-to-be reader, I have enjoyed seeing his love for books!  He too enjoys pouring over a book and studying all about them.  And, once he hears a story read to him, he can then read it back to himself.

One of our favorites is Richard Scarry.  Ian can spend hours as I used to do looking at all of the animals on the page, the cool cars, and fascinating stories and characters.  And, he has recently discovered Dr. Seuss!  He loves “The Foot Book,” “The Sleep Book,” and “Yertle the Turtle” among many, many titles.  I think that these two are the best children’s authors.

Each month of his life, Ian has been getting a book as part of the Imagination Library.  God bless Dolly Parton for sharing the love of reading with so many people in Tennessee and other states!  Ian has looked forward to these books each month and we now have quite a collection.  His last book will be the month he turns 5 years old.  That will be sad but maybe Kirk and I can start our own collection for him.  Kirk too loves to read.

And, each month in the mail, Ian gets his High Five magazine which he really likes.  It is neat for him to be excited about a magazine and all of the great stories inside and funny things to look at!  Thanks to my parents for the subscription.

Each week we like to go to our city library.  Ian will often ask to go since he enjoys playing there with toys and puzzles, renting movies, as well as checking out a pile of books.  Right now we have three videos and 20 books checked out.  Among these are “Harry, the Dirty Dog,” “The Sneetches and other stories,” The Caboose Who Got Loose,” “Where the Wild Things Are,” and a few for me as well.

This summer our library will have its yearly reading program.   We signed up Ian a few years ago and read many, many books to him.  He loved it and the summer ended with a great party in the park behind the library.  A fun time, that’s for sure.

I have several friends who have published books.  It is an honor to know people who have been published since I know the hard work involved.  I hope to join this club one day!  In addition to my love of reading, I hope to be an author.  I really want to write a children’s book as well as a novel.  I am currently working on ideas and look forward to seeing what develops.

What books do you like?  What authors can you lose time with while being transported to another place and time?  Please share these with me and our other readers!