Last month in a fit of pique over having to read the same picture books over and over again I decided to try something new – a chapter book. A real chapter book from my own childhood. I can’t take credit for going out and carefully selecting a book after discussing it carefully with a professional. Instead the kids begged me to buy the movie Stuart Little and I suddenly remembered that for some odd reason we had a brand new copy of the book on the shelf at home. I distracted them with snippets of what I remembered from the book and we hurried home to start reading it.
Well, first we finished shopping, went home, had dinner, took a bath, got ready for bed, but then we started reading it. Which is when I realized that I didn’t remember Stuart Little all that well.
The story is fun and the chapters are designed as mini-tales, but the language is a bit dated as are the references. I’m ad-libbing as we go along, replacing concepts that would take twenty minutes to explain with things that my girls will understand. The language is a bit advanced for my 5 and 3-year-old, but they’re hanging in there, learning, like I did, to deduct meaning from context.
We’re about halfway through the book and I’m thrilled to report that they’ve been asking for the next installment of the odd little mouse-child’s adventures. I’m also thinking ahead to the next book we’ll explore together. I’m hesitating between the quirky adventures of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and her friends or the more magical adventures of Roahl Dahl’s BFG, two books I’ve been patiently waiting to share with my children ever since they were first born.