Friday, July 22, 2005

New Words and Great Books

Kellan is a reader. I've never known a child to read so much. He gets out of bed each morning, runs to his bookshelf, and starts the 6am ritual of "I want that! I want that! I want that!" while shoving books onto the bed for his (not yet awake) parents to read. If you go to the bathroom, Kellan's face lights up (a captive audience!). He runs to the bookshelf and out come the books. He will not eat meals without books. Each meal must be accompanied by at least five books which are read throughout the meal. He will not take a bite of food when one book ends until the next book is open in front of him and the first page being read. He knows how to work it!

There is also a great deal of solo reading. Kellan will happily sit in his room for ages pulling book after book from the shelf and "reading" them out loud to himself. I love to listen to his sing song voice and the way that he tries to mimic the way that I read the exciting bits. A great intake of breath, followed by high pitched chatter. Some books have excitement on every page when read by Kellan. Perhaps I'm doing it wrong. He seems also to have an innate understanding of the Welsh language, as his own personal vocabulary is full of sing song words and lots of double consonant sounds done with perfect Welsh flair. Even his father is jealous!

Coinciding with this great love of reading, Kellan's vocabulary seems to grow by the day. It can be difficult to understand a new word at first, but he's good at pointing and letting you know what he means. Also, words that end in "s" tend to sound pretty much the same. We have had a few meltdowns because I tried to give him goldfish when he wanted Cheerios, or because I handed him cheese when he wanted to nurse! Still, he isn't shy about trying new words and will usually have a go at anything. Which means that daddy is now in fact working with him on Welsh words, and I must say, he's coming along much better than I did!

I thought that I'd post some of Kellan's all time favourite books here for other parents who might be looking to find some new toddler classics.

1. Pretty much anything Boynton is an immediate hit. Favourites include Moo Baa La La La, Doggies, Blue Hat, Green Hat, The Going-To-Bed Book, and Fuzzy Fuzzy Fuzzy!.

2. He adores Bus Stops by Taro Gomi. The pictures are great and he loves saying "Night Night" to the bus at the end of this book.

3. Much to my surprise, he also loves the classics: Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny, both by Margaret Wise Brown.

4. A book that he has loved since infancy and which has never lost its appeal is Baby, Boo!. He loves getting to the "boo" page and shouting "Boo!".

5. That's Not My Monster... is a fun book, especially when you scream and go crazy on the last page. We don't have That's Not My Puppy..., but I'll probably pick this up soon for the boy who loves all things dog.

6. And of course any lift the flap book will provide hours of entertainment. We don't let him at the nice ones yet, they're still up with his "big boy" book collection, but anytime we find one at the dollar store its a big hit. It doesn't matter what the book is about, as he simply loves opening and closing the flaps over and over and over again.


Nicole said...

Have you read "Ten, Nine, Eight" by Molly Bang? I enjoy that one a lot.

betty said...

It's so much fun to see our kids enjoying reading and the pleasure of owning books. I'm so glad that both my kids love to read like me.

We read numerous books to Ben each day. Sometimes we read the same favorite ones several times a day!! It's getting to the point where even I can recite some of the stuff verbatim along with Ben, LOL!

I feel really lucky that we have a public library right across the street from us. We go there quite frequently to return books and replenish our book supply for him. It's gotten to the point that we don't plan on buying many new books for him as he already owns quite a few, and we can always supplement that with the books from the library.

nicole said...

The other aspect of the library is that you don't invest in a book that the kid suddenly can't stand -- and you always have a revolving selection so that you don't get bored! :)

Donna said...

Ah. I miss reading those sweet picture books to my daughter. Will always adore "The Runaway Bunny."