Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer Reading

I will admit that I am not always thrilled by the prospect of my daughter growing up. (Maybe it was four days looking at scantily clad teenage girls on the beach. Maybe it is the increase in eye rolls. Maybe it is fact that in the not too distant future she will be as tall as me.) When they are babies, it is so easy remain focused on just getting through the most recent phase and mastering the next milestone (sleeping through the night, sleeping in a bed, crawling, walking, talking, giving up the bottle, drinking from a cup, eating real food, potty training, binky relinquishing, etc.) But as they grow up, and those milestones spread out, I find myself clinging to the wild fantasy that my kids can, maybe just for me, stay young forever.

But the one thing about a growing up girl that I can embrace without ambivalence is Kara's reading repertoire. We still read lots of picture books, which I still love. But we have now fully entered the age of chapter books. Granted our first forays into this new, big kid arena have been the Magic Tree House series  and the Rainbow Fairies books - neither of which could be characterized as rich or deep . But we are getting close to the age for E.B. White. (Stuart Little is waiting in the queue behind a seemingly endless supply of fairies.) And he is just a gateway to Roald Dahl. And before we know it the Narnia books will be on the shelf...and from there it is just a short walk to Ender's Game, and all of Dave's plans to make Kara in to a super-nerd will be realized.

I realize I am doing it again. Looking ahead to the next book when I should be enjoying where she is at right now. But I can't help it entirely - those fairy books are killing me. Except that she loves them. And I love that she loves to read. And I love to read to her. I suppose E.B. White can wait. For at least another couple of months.

For a great resource, check out Pam Allyn's What to Read When.She not only makes recommendations by age, but she also groups books thematically (books about school, books about imagination, books about death of a pet etc.).

Also, if, like me, you have a nostalgic pang for all things E.B. White, check out this review of The Story of Charlotte's Web on Fresh Air. I was all choked up driving home. Sounds like a wonderful exploration of the author and his masterwork of children's literature.

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