Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bedtime Stories

We just finished our first big "read-aloud" with our 4.5. It's not that we haven't been reading to the kids, but bedtime stories for our big boy have, for the last two and a half years, revolved around dinosaurs. He has has been absolutely, scientifically obsessed with them, and hardly any story (fictions) has kept him entertained. If it wasn't a dinosaur reference book, it wasn't read. I can humbly write that the two of us have learned a lot about dinosaurs and not a whole lot about anything else.

Someday, if I'm ever on Jeopardy, I can confidently select the "Paleontology" category and be assured that I would know nearly every answer.

I thought the day would never come, but I slowly convinced Luke one night that instead of reading about the nesting habits of the female Maisaura, that we could actually read a book, you know, like the kind that I like to read. I picked up Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the library, and after starting the first chapter out loud while the kids played on the floor, not more than a minute passed and both of them were on my lap mesmerized.

What a dirty little trick I played on them, luring them with a book about candy. But it worked, and a week later the book was finished. I am pleased that we accomplished the double-whammy of a 1) a book without dinosaurs and 2) a book without pictures. I honestly didn't know what book was going to accomplish that, but I guess if a Chocolate River can't coax a kid out of the Jurassic, nothing can.

We're expecting 10 inches of snow overnight...it's the end of March; technically Spring, I'm hugely pregnant, and getting to the point where I can't be seen in public anymore. Something's gotta give. So, on today's docket, a reward for the kids and a break for mom: the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. A little creepy, yes, bratty kids, yes, a little politically incorrect, yes (they openly call kids fat, etc.), but having had looked outside at WHITE for over the last six months, we could all escape to a world of pure imagination every once in awhile.


Theresa said...

I love this! I dream of the day when we can start reading the Narnia books outloud. Oh how I'd love that. Perhaps Willy Wonka is a great start. I forgot about all the candy! How could I forget about all the candy? Hmm...guess it has been a while since Wonka graced my imagination.
Here's too great books and interested kids!

Detta said...

I LOVE it!

My kids know almost every song from that ingenious movie (thanks to Harry Connick Jr.) and I absolutely can't WAIT until they are ready for a good pictureless read.

I bet your Easter baskets will be tons of fun this year!

Erin said...

I am totally impressed with you getting a two-year old to listen to a chapter book! Belle rejects anything that isn't "15 Animals" I read that baby about 75 times each day.

Mallory said...

Theresa, if not Wonka for starters, I think Beverly Cleary books are great for boys, and much shorter than this book. Ribsy, Henry Huggins, Henry and Ribsy, etc. I DO like the imagination and somewhat twisted(?) concepts of Roald Dahl, so I think we might try James and the Giant Peach next.

Detta, I did not know that H.C.J. sang music from Willy Wonka, I will definitely look into that. Kenny Loggins has some recorded, so the kids knew a little. I happen to remember all the songs from childhood--so wonderful!

Erin, Paulie doesn't really sit and listen. With the exception of a few chapters, most of the book was read in Luke's bed long after Paul went to bed. There is some MAJOR sibling rivalry in our house, so if Luke and I were sitting doing anything, Paul was absolutely be in the middle of it. He likes 15 Animals, too ;-) .

Fuzzy said...

We are really into books on tape/cd, and I love to enjoy it with the kids. May I recommend the Eric Idle books on tape version of the Wonka books? He is an amazing storyteller, and will keep you and your boys interested. We do the Focus on the Family versions of the Narnia books that the kids enjoy too. Praying for you during your last weeks of pregnancy, and green with envy that you will be holding your baby before me!

Anonymous said...

i love the way you word things...enjoy being the maker of dreams while you read fun stories!! i love when the kids have to use their imaginations b/c of no pics!! let us know if that snow comes!!

Lorrene said...

We've been working our way through the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. I wouldn't have guessed my 4.5 year old boy would have such an interest in them, but he does. However, we are struggling to get through "The Long Winter", probably because it hits too close to home!