Thursday, March 11, 2010

Share a Story - Shape a Future: Day #4

Share a Story - Shape A Future - Day 4 (Old Favorite, New Classics)

Share a Story - Shape a Future is an online event that is trying to harness the internet to share ideas on how to encourage children to read.  Many of the ideas shared may help engage your children in their reading.  I encourage you to check out Share a Story - Shape a Future.
I have really enjoyed responding to the writing prompts all week.  Here are links to the previous questions and my responses: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3.

Is there a book from your childhood that you didn't like "back then", but that you since re-read and liked?  What was it about the book that you didn't like before?

The first book that came to mind when I read this question was Owl Moon by Jane Yolen.  I wasn't a kid when I read it for the first time. I was in my final year of college preparing to become a teacher.  Our Education Club at the University allowed us to order from the Scholastic Book Clubs.  At the time Owl Moon was a bargain book, so I bought a dozen copies.  I had never read the book before, but I was so excited to have multiple copies of a book.  I envisioned myself using them with my students until I read it for the first time.  To say the least, I was disappointed.  I remember thinking this book wasn't going to work. It was just a story about a father and a daughter going out in the woods to find an owl.  I was a naive college student.

My appreciation for this book did not coming until I spent two summers working at a local zoo as an interpreter.  My job as an interpreter was to speak "animal".  Well, not really, but I interacted with guests all day long answering questions about the animals.  I gave many formal "zoo talks" and even did many animal encounters.  As a seasonal employee I was only trained to work with animals like snakes, turtles, armadillos, and chinchillas.  I wish I could have worked with our birds.  The second oldest resident at the zoo was a Great Horned Owl named Virginia.  This owl was magnificent.  I was lucky enough to sit in on a few programs with school groups where my more experienced colleagues showed him (yes, him, not her.  That's another story).  From that moment forward I was fascinated by owls.  Whenever, I had a chance, which wasn't too often, I would go down to the Bird Muze to say hello to our owls.

Sometime later, I saw a promotion in a local museum newsletter that was advertising an owling trip.  I thought it would be so cool to go see owls in their natural element.  What a thrill it would be to see a Great Horned Owl!  It was then that I remembered, Owl Moon.  So, I rushed to my basement to try and locate the book.  I couldn't find it anywhere.  I concluded that I left the book set at my school when I resigned to become a stay at home dad.

The next trip to the library I checked out the book and the audio CD.  This book, illustrated in full color in front of me, was so similar to my dream of encountering a Great Horned Owl.  I loved the book.  I had so much appreciation for the way it was written.  The words and pictures captured the emotion and feeling of walking through the woods hoping to be lucky enough to find what you were looking for.  Maybe someday....

What book(s) has your child recommended to you that you loved?

It wouldn't normally be categorized as a recommendation. However, I guess for a two year old it very well could be negotiated.  My daughter loved to randomly take books off the shelf at the library.  She would walk around the bookshelves and just pick a book at her eye level and walk it over to our library book bag.  The rule was that we couldn't pick any more books once the bag was full.  Therefore, I tried to get as many of my selections of newly released books in the bag before she would start her ritual.  If I wasn't quick enough, I would sometimes slip some of the selections back on the shelf (I was only caught a few times).

One time my daughter slipped in Mavis and Her Marvelous Mooncakes by Dar Hosta.  This fluky recommendation ended up being one of my favorite picture books that I ever read to my daughter.  Mavis is wonderful baker of endless goodies.  One of her most delightful desserts that she makes is the mooncake which she bakes over 14 days and nights.  She then asks her friends to consume the cake little by little until it is all gone.  The sequence of the story mirrors the phases of the moon.  Yes, the story itself is a stretch, but their are lots of words that are a joy to read together, like "mooncake, mooncake is so nice go ahead and take a slice."  There are even great pairings of words to describe her desserts like "marvelously marvelous" and "delightfully delightful".  It is one of those books that I will always remember reading to her. I guess I should now thank her for her wonderful recommendation.

On a side note, I read this book to my son, but he didn't find it as charming. It didn't change my mind though.

Visit my other posts from the week:  Day 1Day 2Day 3 , Day 4 
Note:  This article was written as participating post in the Share a Story 2010 online blogging event.

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