Monday, June 23, 2014

First Book Love

My baby boy just turned two and it seems that we have another book-lover on our hands. While most kids sleep with stuffed animals, he brings three or four board books to bed with him each night, and then complains when things get uncomfortable in bed.

He showed almost no interest in books for the first year of his life. There was reading happening all around him, and he saw it only as an opportunity for mama to sit down and feed him. Then one day, during our nightly bedtime read-aloud, he opened up the book Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann. He turned the pages and discovered, "These pages tell a story! And it's funny!" He laughed out loud and then immediately turned back to the beginning and demanded that we read it again. Then he discovered Mo Willem's pigeon books like Don't Let the Pigeon Eat the Hotdog. Even funnier.

As soon as my husband Brent got home each day, Gilead would drag him into the living room, yelling, "Books! Books!" Then he would push him onto the couch, grab a stack of board books and say, "Sap!," which was short for sit on lap. Brent could not move until he had read two or three books at least.

He has three older sisters who are happy to read to him. Only one of them can actually read the books, but the other two are happy enough to narrate the pictures and he's happy to listen. It's especially hilarious when his three-year-old sister asks, "You want me to read that to you, Giddy?" Then they try to work out the logistics of him sitting on her lap. She is only a couple of inches taller and two pounds heavier than him. So they try this angle and that, which never quite works out. Then he ends up sitting beside her and she "reads" him his book.

For Christmas, he received The Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle and Blue Truck has been his main man since then, though with a fair dose of Pigeon still mixed in. He practically has The Pigeon Loves Things That Go memorized. Since he is a boy that loves to sing, he also loves any book with a rhythm or sing-song quality to it like Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? by Bill Martin and Eric Carle or We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury and Michael Rosen. For his birthday, he got a lot of big trucks and a lot of new books. He filled the trucks with the books, which makes for a convenient way to get the books to the next person who will read them to him. Happy reading, Gilly!

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