Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Power of Books and a New Favorite

I love books.  I mean really, really love books.  I love the feel of a book in my hands.  I love the way a tower of books looks on my bedside table, all neatly stacked and waiting to be devoured.  I love getting lost in a book.  I love going to bed at night so I can read my latest book.  I'm kind of obsessed. Always have been.  Ask my sister.  When we were kids she got mad at me for wanting to read instead of play. I'm kind of a book worm.

So, when my book club friend, Melissa sent this to our group, I could definitely identify with it.

And when another book club friend, Brooke chimed in that her reluctant reader, Claire had just finished Because of Winn-Dixie and didn't want to watch the movie because the books always help her make a picture in her mind and the movie is never like the picture in her mind, I just knew I had to share my take on reading, and how we can't let it become a lost art.

I have a fear that books, real honest to goodness books, are a thing of the past in our fast paced, instant gratification, success driven world. Look at social media. First it was Facebook, where one can communicate feelings, goings on, or share victories, mostly using words. Facebook gave way to Instagram, which is mostly pictures, and users, myself included, are drawn in by various filters that make the photos more appealing. Then came Pinterest where one may or may not be able to find the tutorial or recipe or description to go along with the picture. Let's face it, the written word is just not valued like it used to be.

Call me old fashioned, but I like the feel of a book in my hands. I like to mark the pages when I read something that makes me say, "Hmmm," or want to return to it later. I like to see how many pages the author has left to reveal who did it, or to wrap up a storyline. I like to flip the pages, turning even more quickly as the plot thickens. I like the smell of a new book and the crisp feel of the pages being turned for the very first time.  

I just don't get the same feel from my ipad or from any other type of screen.

So, I want to bring a love of all things books back. When I see the joy on my little boy's face as he hears a story for the first time, I can't even fathom why one doesn't enjoy a good book. When was the last time you read a book for the first time? When was the last time you hid in the laundry room, pretending you were folding towels, while you sat on the edge of the dryer hanging on to an author's every word, furiously turning pages to find out what happens next?

Camden got this book for Christmas from my parents. It has become a tradition for them to give our youngest a couple of the books Parents magazine recommends each year around Christmas time. We have come to really value Parents magazine's opinion on the best books of the year. And we certainly were not disappointed this year.

Winnie is the endearing tale of how Winnie-the-Pooh came to be. We have read it at naptime, bedtime, and in between. Every day. I never know how my little guys will react to a book, and this time we hit the jackpot.  This book has inspired so many questions and predictions, discussions of what war is, and why bears drink milk. I could even sense the pull on little Camden's heartstrings when Harry decided to let Winnie live at the zoo, where he was more at home with his surroundings.

The timing is perfect, too, because we have been able to talk about how bears and other animals hibernate in the winter. We pulled lots of skills in from this book.

We sorted Camden's counting bears by color.

We made bear paws.  (Check out his shirt.  Total coincidence, I promise.)

We read a poem about hibernating and looked for hidden pictures in his High 5 magazine.

I'd still really like to make these adorable bear ornaments my blogging friend Jennifer made with her kids.  I have all the materials, just need to set aside the time to complete them.  They are so cute!!!

I pulled this nonfiction book off the shelf to read later.  It has great photographs and interesting facts about real bears.  I know Camden will love reading it with me.

And maybe one day he will let me actually read Winnie to him again.  For now, he insists on reading it "his own self" which basically means he retells the story from the pictures and what he remembers from me reading it to him.  Isn't that a reading readiness skill?  He is taking a picture walk, all you Kindergarten teachers.  And all it took was for me to introduce a new book to him, in the hope that it would become a favorite.  And it did.

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