Thursday, June 01, 2006

What We're Reading

Kevin is watching Sliders with the older kids right now. They are watching one episode per night and are going to stop when they get to the episode where Arturo gets killed.

I finished reading Watership Down. The rabbits reminded me of the hobbits… humble, unassuming, resourceful, and valiant in a pinch.

Kieron has been reading Hardy Boys books. Kevin has been reading the Radio Boys, which I find was written by the same Stratemeyer Syndicate. According to Wikipedia:

“Stratemeyer’s business acumen,… was in realizing that there was a huge, untapped market for children’s books. Of course, boys devoured Horatio Alger, but they also read dime novels and penny dreadfuls. Here was an underground market waiting to be brought into the open and made even more profitable. In Stratemeyer’s view, it was not the promise of sex or violence that made such reading attractive to boys; it was the thrill of feeling “grown-up,” and the desire for a series of stories, an “I want some more” syndrome. “

Clare has been reading the Patrick O’Brian series. She usually has several books going on at a time of different levels of complexity. I can tell what she’s reading by the books face down in the living room, but right now, I can’t quite remember what they are outside of the above-mentioned Aubrey/Maturin ones (which are very good but not for youngsters; Kevin and I have been fans for years but she is the first of the kids who has actually read the books).
Sean is at a literary standstill right now after reading the Harry Potter series. His pattern is to read several books in as many days and then come up for air, and have an interim before the next burst of book-devouring. Right now he’s in the interim: “Mom, I don’t have anything to read” stage.
Paddy and Aidan seem to be permanently lodged in the board-book phase. I did read The Napping House to Paddy and he liked it, but Aidan prefers much repetition of the same few books and a very simple storyline and I wonder if that keeps Paddy from receiving the benefits of hearing books for an older audience. I keep thinking about the kind of book Sean could listen to at that age — 3. He was only four when Kevin read Beowulf to the whole crew of them — ages 10, 8, 7, and 4 at the time — and he absolutely loved it and pretended he was Beowulf for many days afterwards. One of my aspirations for the next few months is to foster their interest in books — the two youngest ones — honestly, I think at the 6th and 7th run-through now, I am just so BORED by the Dr Seuss/PD Eastman type book that I find it difficult to be enthuasiatic. Quite literally, I have them memorized and when I am senile, you will probably hear me reciting: “what do we know about tweetle beetles?” if not something even more grim. When they are at the more advanced picture book stage (see sidebar for the Booklist) I think it will be easier. Even Eric Carle would be a step in the right direction from where we are right now.