Raise a reader day

by DaniGirl on September 29, 2005 · 11 comments

in Uncategorized

Here in Ottawa, it’s Raise a Reader Day, sponsored by the Ottawa Citizen and other local literacy groups. In our family, I am thrilled that we are having as much success as we are in raising readers. Maybe it’s because I’m a literary kind of girl, but I think a love of reading is one of the most important values I can instil in my kids. If it were up to me, Read Anything and Everything would be the 11th commandment. (Or maybe we can replace one of those lesser commandments about not coveting thy neighbour’s goodies.)

I love the fact that no matter what other mischief he is up to, I can sit cross-legged on the floor and ask Simon, “Want to read a book?” and he will toddle over and plunk himself uncerimoniously but receptively into my lap. I love that we were in the drug store the other day and as I was listening to the steady stream of babble Simon was spewing, it dawned on me that he was repeating “Mooo – la la la – no no no – oink”, which if you have any familiarity with the work of Sandra Boynton you will recognize as a pretty reputable stab at a recitation of Moo Baa La La La, his favourite book. I love the fact that Tristan occassionally attributes dialogue as he plays with his trains. The other day I heard him saying, “‘Good day, Thomas’ said James. ‘Look at my splendid red coat.’ ‘Good day, James, it’s lovely,’ said Thomas.” He’s talking in literary narrative. Be still my heart.

Speaking of books, this week Chapters/Indigo released the results of their summer-long poll readers’ choice poll. It doesn’t exactly look like the Governor General’s short list of fiction. Number one is The Davinci Code, followed by Pride and Prejudice, To Kill a Mockingbird, Gone With the Wind and LOTR Return of the King.


The second half of the top 40 list is a little bit more interesting, and includes the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (a “trilogy in four parts”, one of my most favourite tag lines of all times) and CS Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I liked this list, because the question was not “what is the best book of all time” but “what is your favourite book of all time.” Hard to imagine that so many people would list The Lovely Bones and Angels and Demons among their all-time faves, though. They were good, but not that good!

What’s missing? I’m out of time, but tell me what you would add to – or vehemently scribble off of – your list?

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dean Dad September 29, 2005 at 1:45 pm

“The Sleep Book,” by Dr. Seuss. The moose juice/goose juice rhyme is a classic. The Boy likes it, too, to my everlasting delight.

2 BeachMama September 29, 2005 at 1:53 pm

I do have many favorite books, but one of my fav’s has always been “Pamela” by Samuel Richardson. It is a classic, but one that I read quickly instea of taking a month.
I also love Dr. Seuss’s (Dean Dad reminded me of this one)”Oh the Places You Go”. I have given this one as a present to several girlfriends and it was the first book we purchased for our little guy.

3 Marla September 29, 2005 at 2:32 pm

For early readers and reading out loud – EB White stuff. I just finished the Trumpet of the Swan, and it rolls off the tongue so beautifully. I remembered this one from the first time it was read to me, in third grade, as one of the books that taught me to love reading…and being read to properly.

4 Suzanne September 29, 2005 at 2:55 pm

From the list you linked to, I’d have to excise Fall on Your Knees. Bleahh!
I’d add Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver and The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood.

5 Phantom Scribbler September 29, 2005 at 6:16 pm

I hated A Fine Balance. Hated it. I think that was the book that put me off fiction for good. So much gratuitous tragedy! I’ll stick to the news for that, thankyouverymuch.

6 cooper September 29, 2005 at 6:22 pm

hi there! Well, our new site for the Katrina Clearinghouse is finally built so check it out — http://www.beenthereclearinghouse.com
Dani, thank you so much for all your links and offer. It just blew us away that the blogging community – even in the 24 hours after we first started the clearinghouse on our blog – came up with hundreds of supplies and goods for Katrina vicitims and now there have been so many connections made and it was the bloggers who made it happen!
There are still evacuees coming to our site by the day, so if anyone out there has goods or supplies available or are interested in “adopting” a katrina family by providing some of the goods they may need as they rebuild, visit our site and post what you would like to do!
Thank you everyone!!!!! Cooper
ps. we still have our other blog, been there, and hope to resume our previously scheduled programming sooooon!

7 bart September 29, 2005 at 7:22 pm

the Winnie the Pooh stories are just sublime, good fun for the kids and a gentle reminder to all parents that they shouldn’t take themselves all that seriously…

8 Robin September 29, 2005 at 9:03 pm

I agree there is nothing more important then teaching our kids to love reading. Every night we read stories before bed. I think I did it first because it was in the manual. LOL But, then I realized how much Grant loves books. He ask the same question every night. “Teach how to read”. 😉 Which Larry and I love to hear and take very seriously.

9 nancy September 30, 2005 at 12:04 am

One of my ‘things’ used to be “One can never have enough fleece.” Well, then I procreated, and now it has been radically altered to “One can never have enough children’s books” We have them ALL…Dr. Seuss being my childhood fave by far, we are also big fans of Sandra Boynton, Robert Munsch and well, just about anything and everything.
I took a peek at the grown-up list. I could agree with Owen Meany and Red Tent as being tops of my list, but I have a hard time pinpointing anything that I can label as my all time fave. I shoudl give Orwell 1984 honourable mention as it freaked me out 20 years ago and still does. I loved Da Vinci, but also liked Poisonwood Bible, and as far back as Lord of the Flies. I can’t stand M. Atwood and can sadly and not proudly (very embarrassed) to admit I have never read many of the classics that are listed (eg. Wuthering Heights, Catcher in the Rye). I have seen the movies for Pride & Prejudice (Mmm…Colin Farell yummy) and The Notebook (which I loved the flick way more than book).
My current fave topic is mindless trashy chick-lit. How shallow am I?

10 twinmomplusone September 30, 2005 at 5:16 am

read nearly all of those classics, in school and with some paper having to be written about them, and being a science student and all, wasn’t impressed by them, although like Nancy, 1984 stands out as a freaky one
there is one book that I read many, many moons ago that intrigued me much at that younger age, Drifters by James A. Mitchener
I would have added The Kite Runner to that list
too many books, too little time…

11 Danigirl September 30, 2005 at 3:42 pm

Ooo, all good comments – thanks!! We love Dr Seuss and I was just wondering when to start reading EB White to Tristan – maybe in another year or so?
Suzanne, I returned Fall on Your Knees to the library unread – thanks for the validation. I have Blind Assassin on my “get to it” pile.
Two votes for Barbara Kingsolver from two of my favourite sources for recommendations? Over to the library site I go…
And Cooper! What great news about the clearing house! I’m so proud of you guys for doing such a fantasic job!!
xo Dani

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