Cultural update

It has come to my attention that I neglected to write an update here regarding a post I made last year.

In 2010, I wrote that I hoped to someday read The Hobbit to the girls. As it turns out, I read it to them before that year was finished!

When it comes to long books like The Hobbit, Jadzia is definitely the one who will sit and listen. Ludi tunes out after a while if the story is long and there aren’t pictures on every page. Part of that is age and part is personality. Then again, I think Ludi took more away from The Hobbit. She still occasionally asks me about BIlbo or Gollum.

We often have to do a lot of explaining or summarizing. After hearing a chapter, Jadzia has been known to ask, “So, what happened?”

Here are some of the long books the girls (primarily Jadzia) have read over the last year:

  • The Hobbit
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Little House in the Big Woods
  • Little House on the Prairie
  • Farmer Boy
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • American Girls: Felicity (series)
  • American Girls: Kirsten (series)
  • American Girls: Josefina (series)

We are currently in the middle of Swiss Family Robinson and we have also started the AG Kaya books. Swiss Family is interesting. It’s an old book, and not originally in English, so much of the syntax and word choice sounds funny to my ears. It also doesn’t have a plot. It’s like a series of obstacles, projects, and discoveries by the family. Despite this, Jadzia remains interested. I suppose we have the movie (which does have a plot) to thank for sparking this interest.

A menu fit for a princess

Jadzia’s most recent Scholastic book order form included a title called “Disney Princess: Royal Recipe Collection.” Just as the Disney marketing machine hoped, Jadzia was immediately intrigued.

Rather than purchase this book, Yoli checked to see if the library had a copy. They did, so we requested it.

This morning we began cooking our first recipes from it. Our breakfast was “Fairy Godmother Wands” (aka sliced French toast). The girls were eager to help prepare it, but quickly became “tired” once they started assisting. The toast was accompanied by an orange dipping sauce.

Later for “dinner” (our meals were way off their normal times today) we had “Get Your Work Done Smoothies” (a reference to Cinderella’s stepmother). We followed those with one of my recipes — black jewel popcorn topped with butter and freshly-grated parmesan.

The princess recipes we had today were decent, but overall I’m not especially enthusiastic about this book.

In contrast, tonight at the library I found a Felicity cookbook, from the colonial-era character in the “American Girls” series. The recipes are far more authentic and the book is more educational. We’ll probably try a few in a few days.

New cardholder

Jadzia achieved a long-sought goal today: She got a card from the Ferguson Municipal Library.

The requirement for a child to receive a card is that he or she be able to print their own name legibly. Jadzia has been working on her writing on and off for a while now, and she can (oftentimes) write it pretty well.

Today she had to write it three times: Once on paper with a pencil, to prove to the librarian she could do it; another time on the application form; and finally on the card itself. She was very proud.

The first books she checked out for herself: Beauty and the Beast (a long version) and Peter and the Wolf. (She also checked out a book for Ludi about trains)

The joy of reading aloud

I like reading aloud. I guess its a sort of performance art, hearkening back to my days as a preschool teacher or as an actor at school.

Most of the books that we read to the girls are easy readers with photos on every page. Oftentimes they are more artwork than story. Jadzia has always been our most voracious reader, and she has slowly been building up her ability to listen.

Last year I read to her a condensed, illustrated version of the Wind in the Willows. She enjoyed it, although after every chapter she would ask “So, what happened?”

Right now we are making our way through Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This is the real version of the story, not condensed, with a limited number of illustrations. Jadzia really seems to love it, and she also is following the story much better.

The only issue is that Ludi does not quite have Jadzia’s patience yet. But she’ll come along eventually.

I know it’s still a few years off, but I am really looking forward to reading the Hobbit with these girls. (Jadzia occasionally asks me to read little bits from it, but she doesn’t totally understand what’s going on)

The book fairy

Most of you know that we are a very reading-oriented family. We have a mamá who works at the library and a papá who works at the newspaper. Our house has many, many books, as well as two girls who love to read and be read to.

These same girls also are very hard on their books, Ludi especially. She loves to rip and tear and pull things. That’s why it’s handy to have a mamá who has been trained in the art of book repair.

The readingest girl ever

Jadzia really likes books. She’ll sit through a session of reading 6 books and start crying when we finish because she wants to hear more.

Since Yoli is a librarian, she enrolled Jadzia in a summer reading program where she wins a prize after listening to a certain number of books. It didn’t take but a week or so for her to win her first prize. ­čÖé