Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Confessions of a Geronimo Stilton Addict
It's okay to read what your kids read.
We watch their tv shows so we know whats going on in their lives and what cultural influences (sass talking Disney Channel Piffle) they are being exposed to. Right? Why not read what they read? It's not a control issue. You don't have to read every single book they touch. Read a few. It's discourse. Something to talk about outside of the family rigmarole.
Reading what they read will show them that this is such a good story that mom and dad like it too. It will also help you find books that go beyond Captain Underpants, Tinkerbell, and other sacharine serieal books that are marketed for their covers than for their content.
Once upon a time it was librarians and teachers that made book recommendations. I remember my mother going to the public library one summer and asking for a recommended reading list.
Now it is the publishers telling us what is a good read. They use shiny covers, gross body parts, princesses and talking mice. Sometimes they are right. There are some fun series out there. I should know, I have read and currently own 35 Geronimo Stilton books.
I am a Geronimo Stilton addict. I confess. They are cute and I love them the way I love Italian soap operas.
I don't want to knock book series. As a writer, I'm trying to launch one. As a reader, I love them. I like slipping into a familiar set of characters and setting. When I'm stressed out and need a little escape, I turn to my favorite series for night time reading and comfort. Way healthier than eating Nutella straight from the jar.
As a parent, I like a good series of books. It is hard to find that next chapter book for my Third grade son. I have to pick 12 off the library shelves, sit him down at a table, make him pick three, then present those three to him again at home. Once he latches on to a book, he devours it in a few days.
Pyrrhic victory. Hurray he loved the book. Boo . . . we have to go find another one.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
If he strikes on a series, I have at least three or four books before we have need start the hunt again. Sometimes I am sneaky and space them out. Currently he is into Nathanial Fludd, Beasteologist by R. L. LaFevers. But there are only four books in the series so far. I'm doling them out.
My daughter is in First grade and almost ready to read chapter books on her own. She will read the first page of every chapter when we read something on her level. Our favorite series are Horrible Harry by Suzy Kline, Roscoe Riley by Katherine Applegate, Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows, and Clementine by Sara Pennypacker.
As a middle grade writer, I love anything by Kevin Henkes. He is a wonderful story teller, lots of heart and empathy without being sacharine. Junonia and Olive's Ocean are two of his recent chapter books. He also writes two fun picture book series featureing Chrystanthemum and Lily.
The kids and I are always looking for the next great read. Any suggestions?
If you are crazy wookies busy with reality and life, here is a blog that can help find good books for your young reader: