Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Saved by the Books...

Oh it was loud. After two weeks of Kate and then Molly being at Grandma and Poppy's house, our home finally held its quota of four pairs of feet, three of which were running to and fro and hopping and thumping.  There were six lungs in various pitches of squeals and whoops echoing off of the walls at the very time of evening when things should have been at least simmering down a bit and even approaching calm. The owner of the set of lungs that was not, at the time, shrieking, was, as usual doing what she'd been instructed to do and was making preparations for bed.
The others...well, after three dozen or so warnings, they were still just being loud. I finally howled, "That's IT, everyone on the couch! Get out the library books and READ!!"  

We are not against mandatory reading here. If it hadn't been so close to bed time, I would have gone a step or two further and handed out sentences of sweeping and Swiffering followed by laundry with a dishwasher unloading extravaganza for the finale.  It was the approach of bedtime that saved them from certain servitude.  The approach of bedtime and this sight that met my eyes as I turned the corner... 
I fully intended to be the one reading to the girls, and expected the 
oldest noisemaker to read on his own.  Happily, they all had other plans.

Cole kept the girls' attention much better than I ever have.

It may also be worth noting that all three children accidentally
 learned a bit about Holland from this cozy children's picture book.

They thoroughly enjoyed this book, I think in part, because the blonde character
 (pictured on the cover) slightly resembles their mother. Maybe. A little?
This is the third book in the Knuffle Bunny trio.

After Knuffle Bunny found his way to the end of his adventure, I feared that the magical spell the children seemed to be under would dissipate and the thumping and squealing and running and thumping and thumping would begin once more.

Enter Olivia.
We absolutely adore her. We discovered Ian Falconer's creation during Kate's toddlerhood, when it became obvious that Mr. Falconer had captured the essence of Kate with an illustrated pig.  

We own the first two in the series, 
Olivia and
Olivia Saves the Circus
Many more Olivia books have been written about this delightful pig, and finally, after a three year wait Olivia is back and she's visiting Venice...

 ...and my son lent his voice to her tail...er...tale.

Olivia usually makes us smile, but when we read about 
our favorite pig encountering airport security...we cracked up!

...and then began to calm down a bit.

Next in the queue was none other than...
I wondered if Cole would draw the line at reading about Fancy Nancy and the Fabulous Fashion Boutique but he didn't have the chance...
Kate decided that she could handle this one and read the story to Molly and me.
 Ok, just me,
Molly wanted to go back and check on Knuffle Bunny.

It's a wonder isn't it, how a few trusted children's books, snagged from the library, can save the sanity of a weary mom, 
hush squealing siblings, 

and take children on trips around the world all without ever leaving the couch!!

It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations--something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own.”~Katherine Patterson, children's author.

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