By Tara Rison, Itty Bitty Bookworms
Published: August 13, 2009
The Children’s Book Review presents a guest post by Tara Rison. A wife and WAHM of three. In her former life she was a teacher, preschool director, and college instructor. She currently owns and operates The Itty-Bitty Bookworm, a literature-based preschool curriculum company.
I will never forget the night that my oldest daughter begged to stay up “just ten more minutes”. It was not to finish watching a tv show, nor to finish playing an electronic game. It was to finish the chapter of the book she was reading. “Please, Mom! It is so good! It is like tv in my head!”. How could I say no? I was so excited for her.
As a book lover and avid reader, I find a lot of joy in seeing my children read. I also think it is insightful to engage them in conversations about what they are reading. Being that my children are different ages and on different reading levels, the depth of these conversations vary. However, I use these conversations to help point out all of the things that can be learned and experienced from reading a book and to help with comprehension.
I thought I would share some of our book conversations with you. I hope you find them “inspiring”.
- My oldest daughter, Junie B. (as in Junie B. Jones), just finished reading The Boxcar Children. I recommended this book to her because she loves stories about orphans. I try not to take it personally and hope that she just finds it intriguing. Anyway, I can remember my third grade teacher reading this book aloud to my class. I loved it and looked forward to “read aloud time” each day. As I expected, once Junie B. started reading it, she could not put it down. I think she read the entire book in a day or two.
Here is our book conversation about The Boxcar Children:
Me: So, what was your favorite part of the book?
Junie B.: When they find the boxcar and make it into a little house.
Me: Why did you like that particular part?
Junie B.: Because I would like to fix up a boxcar like that.
Me: Who was your favorite character?
Junie B.: Violet because she was the middle child and she helped cook and make the house.
Me: Do you think that you are like Violet?
Junie B.: Yes, I like to cook and I am mature like her.
Me: What do you think it would feel like to be one of the Boxcar Children?
Junie B.: It would be really fun, but after a while, I might get a little tired of it because they have to work and eat bread and milk every day.
Me: Aren’t you a lucky kid? You only have to do a few chores and we feed you well.
Junie B.: I am also thankful for my mom and dad.
Me: AHHH! So sweet! So what do you think you learned from this book?
Junie B.: That you can have a good life when you don’t have a lot of things
- My six year old, Fancy Nancy, has been reading a lot this summer because she is so excited that she can finally read entire books. She has been looking forward to this for so long because she wanted to be like her older sister. Most recently, she has been reading books from the “Dick and Jane” series. Her favorite is A Treasury of Dick and Jane and Friends by William S. Gray. This particular book is a compilation of some favorite “Dick and Jane” stories.
Here is my book conversation with Fancy:
Me: What did you think about this “Dick and Jane” book?
Fancy: Well, there was one story about Puff the Cat, and the cat was really cute.
Me: What was so cute about Puff?
Fancy: He was different colors and he rode around on a vacuum when Baby was trying to push it (as she giggles).
Me: What else did you like about this “Dick and Jane”?
Fancy: It is like a chapter book and I could read the whole thing by myself.
Me: It is fun to be able to read a chapter book. Out of all of the stories in the book, which was your favorite?
Fancy: Mmm, I would have to say… “We Go Away”.
Me: Really? Why did you like that one the best?
Fancy: Because it had the word “Go” in it a lot. I like that word because I like to go different places.
Me: Yes, you do. You are an “on the go” kind of girl. So, did you have a favorite character?
Fancy: Yes, Baby and Tom. Well, all of them really. Mom, I can’t choose.
Me: That’s ok. You probably like different things about each character.
Fancy: Yeah, I do.
Me: This book showed you that you can read a book all by yourself. What do you think you will read next?
Fancy: Oh easy, another “Dick and Jane”!
My three year old, Jesse Bear, has always loved books. Once he finds a book he enjoys, he wants me (or anyone willing) to read it to him over and over again. Some of his favorites have included: Jesse Bear, Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?; Dear Zoo; Baby Danced the Polka; and Goodnight Gorilla. His latest find is an old classic. To find out what it is and to read my book conversation with Jesse, visit me at Raising Itty-Bitty Bookworms. Once there, leave me a comment, so I can “meet” you and visit your blog.
My Little Note to Bianca:
I am sure your readers would agree with me when I say that I am completely impressed with your dedication to the world of children’s literature and to your readers. Thank you for having me and for your wonderfully, informative blog.