Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Reading to Boys

I love a good book and a passion for reading is something that my husband and I really hope we can instil in our kids. So far, I think we have been successful.

We go to the library weekly to choose new stories and our bookshelves are bursting at the seams. In fact, when my youngest started pre-school and was having some separation anxiety, it turned out that a story with one of the teachers was all he needed to settle him into the school routine.

I am a believer that it doesn't matter what they're reading as long as they're reading (yup - that includes my 6 year old reading a People magazine at the cottage this summer). That being said, I still can't believe how often I am disappointed with the books we end up bringing home.

In books targeted at girls, it is more the message that disappoints and that is a whole other blog. But for boys it is often the writing itself that leaves me shaking my head. I don't know why so many books (publishers) feel the need to dumb it down. That is why I was so excited when we stumbled upon these books.

The first is "The Circus Ship" by Chris Van Dusen. It is lyrical and the illustrations are amazing. It is loosely based on a real-life ship wreck in which some circus animals were left to fend for themselves after the ship ran aground. The favourite page for my family has to be the two page 'hiding' spread in which the townsfolk help camouflage the animals to save them from their greedy circus owner. Between searching the pictures for each animal or counting to make sure we hadn't missed any, this story is one that my family keeps coming back to.

The second book that caught my eye this year is actually a series. They are the Dino-sport books by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by Barry Gott. My son is in a dinosaur phase and of course he loves sports too. These books couldn’t be any better. Again, the rhyme in the books is lyrical, the dinosaurs are divided into teams of meat eaters and plant eaters. Each dinosaur name is colour coded in the book depending if they are on the ‘meat’ or ‘grass’ team. Without the kids realising it, they are learning about herbivores and carnivores, categorizing and sorting, and even the rules and methods of scoring for a variety of sports. The illustrations do not disappoint. My son loves to search out the dinosaurs from the stanza on the page we have just read. We can’t get enough of these books at house right now.

Reading is such an important part of learning and it should be fun. These are a few suggestions from my house to yours. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do. Happy reading!

PS – I have no affiliation with any publishers, authors, etc. I just love to share when I find a good book!

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