Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The tale of reading

Being the story of two children, a book and bedtime

Before David could even really talk, he loved books.
We would put him down for a nap and he would say "more"
And we would stack his books up all around him
And he would look through them, carefully turning each page before finally falling asleep.

Kate hasn't always loved books as much as David, but lately I find her in her room "reading" through her princess books.

Sometimes at bedtime we read all together, sometimes Kate gets books read and then David does.

We have our favorites we read together and have gone through the natural progression of reading - board books, picture books, beginning readers.

This past fall we (and by we I mean I) decided to try some chapter books.

It's been hit or miss. The book has to catch their attention from the start since there aren't pictures to look at and keep them interested. Roald Dahl has worked fairly well. We've read The Fantastic Mr. Fox, George's Marvelous Medicine, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But, even with those Kate would be playing while listening, David would be banging his feet on the wall.

We've tried a bunch after we finished Charlie and just haven't had any luck.

We randomly picked up Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo one day from the library. We all loved it. It's about 2 friends, Bink and Gollie, who are very different but still great friends. It was smart and funny.

So, I decided to try The Tale of Desperaux, also by Kate DiCamillo.
I had read it before and loved it, but wasn't quite sure what the kids would think.

Kate was concerned at first there weren't enough pictures. David didn't want to hear a story about a mouse.

I convinced them to just try it, and if they didn't like it we could stop.

So, I started reading.

And the two of them were mesmerized.

Last night we read how Desperaux, the mouse, fell in love with Pea, the human Princess.

David: (in a skeptical tone) What? He can't do that.
Kate: (giggling) A mouse and a princess?

The story continued:
"Reader, you may ask this question; in fact, you must ask this question: Is it ridiculous for a very small, sickly, big eared mouse to fall in love with a beautiful human princess named Pea.?"

They were both so still and so quiet, as we snuggled under the covers in Kate's bed, listening to the story to see what would happen.

I have no real point to this story, other than that I love moments like those, when the world seems to come together.

At least for a few, quiet minutes.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. I love Desperaux. I'm glad you guys are enjoying it!

  2. I love the language of Desperaux. I haven't tried many of Kate DiCamillos books - are they all written the same way?

  3. No, that one is its own thing, although DiCamillo is a writer who creates strong voices throughout her work. You guys may also like Because of Winn-Dixie, which has a great main character/voice.

    Incidentally, I saw DiCamillo's give her speech for winning the Newbery for Despereaux, and it moved me to tears, it was just so beautiful.