Sunday Feb 27
It’s close to midnight and I was just about ready to turn in – fully aware that I had let yet another week go by without an update to my blog. I don’t particularly like the neglect babylovesbooks is undergoing in my hands, but let me spare you, one of my four or so readers – of my guilt pangs. What matters is, just as I was about to drift off to sleep, I realized that this and the past few weeks had actually provided so much material for this blog. I’d shared so many incredible, wonderful reading moments with my daughter and let them slip by without being recorded here. Determined not to let this weekend get by without acknowledging them and expressing my appreciation and gratitude for the opportunity to read to M – here goes…what we’ve been reading recently -
* Hanuman’s Ramayan: The story of Ramayan is not new to anyone with connections to India, but this is a delightful, truly refreshing tale you’ve got to share with your tot, nevertheless. Everyone who’s heard about or read any version of Ramayan is aware that the Sage Valmiki wrote the beautiful epic poem that is known in every corner of the world today. However, did you know that there was a much more eloquent version of the story written by none other than Ram’s greatest and most beloved devotees? When and why did Hanuman write the Ramayan? Why did it bother Valmiki so much? And what happened to it? Discover answers to these and other questions and explore a range of human emotions with your child as you turn the pages of this enchanting book from Tulika. Jealousy, pride, ego, humility, sacrifice and truth weave through the illustrations and words in this book that opened M’s eyes to a whole other dimension to the now familiar Ramayana.
* Hallmark Recordable Storybook: I tried the first of these as a gift for a friend’s child a few weeks ago and loved everything about it – the idea, the sheer brilliance of the imaginative thought behind it, the simplicity of use and the ease of personalization that makes this a unique, meaningful gift for newborns, kids, parents, grandparents, cousins and just about anyone you can imagine that would appreciate a loved one reading to them. More recently, I got another one for my own little tyke and another one for her friend. Both girls loved it almost instantly. Imagine the delight and surprise of a child who receives a storybook that unfolds itself in a loved one’s own voice. It’s like having your personal story teller by your side any time of the day and night – and which child, or adult for that matter wouldn’t want that? I’m surprised this idea and gift hasn’t caught on with more people and kids – or have I just not met too many people that appreciate and love it as much as I do? Or maybe it’s an old idea that I am one of the last to discover…whatever the case, I sure am glad I stumbled upon it and I can assure you – every kid, expecting mom or new parent I know will be receiving this from me at some point of time in the near future.
Price: About $30.00
How to use: Every page has a rec and stop button – all you have to do is press the rec button as you read each page. When you’re done, you can set the Rec mode to Lock with a simple maneuver so your voice isn’t accidentally wiped out. But, if you do want to re-record, just switch back the latch to unlock and start over.
Disadvantage: It can get a little tricky initially- there seems to be certain position which works for the recording best – usually when the book is laid flat on a table. Also, I found that sometimes it’s better to start from the last page and work backwards when recording…if you have trouble recording your book, try this method.
Books we liked in this series: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, My Little Princess
Roald Dahl Collection: OK. I will admit that I’m not a big fan of this celebrated author. Never have been. In fact, other than The Chocolate Factory and Matilda, I can’t say I’ve heard of any of his books. So, when M’s 2010 holiday gifts included a collection of Roald Dahl books, I had mixed feelings. On one hand, I was delighted to have the opportunity to expose her to an author who was considered one of the world’s best story tellers. On the other hand – how would my own feelings for the author and his style come to bear on my sharing the books with her? I didn’t care much for the black humor and sardonic style he infused into his writing – I personally don’t think black humor should have any place in children’s literature. Especially of the kind that is a hallmark of some of his stories like The Twits. But…since it was a gift and since I didn’t want to deprive M of something just because I didn’t like it – I ended up reading to her from the collection. And was not prepared for her reaction – she actually loves the stories…black humor and all! Hmm..so much for me being an influence on her! My 4-year old daughter likes gory stuff. There. And to this date, I won’t as much as read a review of a horror movie or book. So, maybe, his writing does have something to attract kids and spark their imagination and who am I to deny my daughter that joy? Black humor or not. Maybe. I’ll give him another shot. Only if I can keep my eyes open.
Water Stories From Around The World: Another gem from Tulika. Explore the many interpretations, stories, myths, legends, beliefs, problems, concerns and challenges surrounding one of the most precious and deceptively abundant resources on our planet. This would make an excellent candidate for reading requirement lists for elementary and middle schools. Truly refreshing to the last drop. And so many teachable moments. The book is drenched in legends, myths, oral traditions and cultural beliefs about water from places like India, Spain, Nigeria, Greece and Australia among others.
Other books we read recently include – The Little Red Hen, Stella – Queen of Snow and a pile of books on Dr. Martin Luther Kind Jr and other African Ameracan Achievers – thanks to a school project M was assigned. It was fun going back to the library for ‘reference’ and checking out all these books, sharing them with M, picking out information she could absorb, reflect on and communicate to her class. It would have been so much easier and quicker to compile Google search results for her but this was way more fun! Another Tulika treasure we loved was The Veena Player.
Wednesday Mar 2
Today is Read Across America Day and I had to stop myself from procrastinating any longer and go ahead and hit publish on this post. But not before telling you what a marvelous week I’m having with M – re-discovering Dr. Seuss’s One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish! As with his other books, this one didn’t become a big hit with M instantly. It grew on her gradually and now, after our official 2345th reading of the book, I can declare it’s among her favorites and I’m so glad we read it at least 4 times just this week, without even realizing that Dr. Seuss’s birthday is Mar 2!! Also? I’ve been having way too much fun reading Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s Farm to my Power Lunch pal J, the past few weeks and I think I almost said, “Better call Mrs. Piggle Wiggle” on a couple of occasions when kids I knew weren’t at their best behavior! What a riot of a book ! Better read it to your tots today!!
And on that note of gratitude and contentment for having books in my life and the opportunity to share them with my bundle of infinite joy – I sign off. Until next time, happy reading to you and yours!
So, what have you been reading with your kids? I’m dying to know…