Monday, January 21, 2008

Answers From the Book Worm in Me

Let's just pretend this is a creative introduction to me answering some of your questions on reading because without your imaginations, I've got nothing at the moment. On that note, let's get straight to it.

Elizabeth wanted to know my favorite book other than the Bible:

I'd have to say that my all-time favorite book is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It is considered fiction, but is loosely based off the book of Hosea in the Bible. My Mother-in-Law bought this for me when Chris and I were dating, telling me it was one of the best books she'd ever read. At first, I wasn't even sure I wanted to read it because I tend to have an aversion to anything remotely resembling historical fiction. However, about 15 pages into it, I realized I would be reading into the wee hours of the morning because NOTHING could stop me until it was finished.

Even if you don't generally like to read, you will not be able to put this book down. I'm telling you, I have recommended it to just about everyone I know, Christians and non-believers alike, all of which loved it as much as me. And I would loan you my copy, but the last person (you know who you are) who borrowed it actually mailed it to Jennifer Aniston during her divorce from Brad. As of yet, no word on Jen's opinion, but I'll keep you posted:)

Fullheartandhands mama wanted to know what books Park seems to enjoy the most:

When Park was a baby, we nicknamed him The Professor because you rarely saw him without a book in hand. Now, granted he spent most of his time trying to eat them, but somehow that digested into a true love for reading. Although he seems to have a new "favorite" everyday, right now the top 5 books Park requests most are Silly Sally by Audrey Wood , I Promise I'll Find You by Heather Patricia Ward , Because the Greatest of These is Love by Dandi Daley Mackall, Sounds I Remember by Bill Martin Jr, and How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food by Jane Yolen. He also loves to read Bible stories out of My Favorite Bible Storybook for Toddlers, which I actually bought at the Dollar General. Plus, I must mention that he is big fan of Clifford and all of the Curious George collection, hence the curtain incident.

And although these are some of his top picks, he has never met a book he doesn't like. I've even caught him reading some of my parenting books before. Which would probably explain how he seems to always be one step ahead of me in the discipline department.

Stacey wanted suggestions for a toddler that is not interested in being read to very much:

This is a tough one that my sister is also struggling with at the moment. I must admit that I am no expert in this area, namely because I only have one child and he loved books without me lifting a finger. That said, one suggestion might be to make a game of it by setting a timer for 10 minutes and telling them, "Let's see if we can read 3 books before the timer goes off."

I would also be sure to refer to their books when something comes up in conversation. For instance, if Park says something about a lion, I say, "Ooh, I know a special lion. Would you like to meet him?" and then I read him the book, Going On a Lion Hunt. This works for so many different topics and using concepts they are interested in helps them make the connection that books can take them to exciting places where they can learn about their favorite things. You may also try reading books that encourage active participation, such as Peekaboo Zoo by Susan Hood.

Another recommendation is keeping children's books in different locations throughout the house. Reading in Mommy's bedroom is sometimes more appealing than in their own room, simply because it is out of the ordinary. Plus, just continuing to make books available affords them the opportunity to develop a love for reading, even if that just means thumbing through them on their own for now.

And probably one of my best suggestions would be to just continue trying. Toddlers seem to change their minds daily, so you never know when reading may suddenly strike their fancy. Also, I would read to them even if they don't seem to be paying much (or any) attention, such as when they are playing in the room with you. You never know what their little brains soak up while seemingly having inattentive ears. (Sometimes I've learned this lesson the hard way!) I know it seems like a lot of effort now, but the reward will be plentiful later. I hope this was encouraging or helpful in some way.

And let's wrap up day one by stating the obvious. Brevity is not my gift, particularly when discussing something I love as much as books. I'll try and be more concise when answering a different topic of questions tomorrow, but I know myself better than to promise anything.

Well, other than promising that you will need to imagine another creative intro for the second half of this post, as well.

*Please feel free to add some of your suggestions or favorite books in the comments, too.


Ann said...

For the mom who wanted to know how to get a reluctant toddler interested in books....try activity books, you know the ones that you can make music with or those that you touch or do things with. That's how I got my little guy to want to read!
Good luck.

Andrea said...

Park needs the Stinky Face books. My son's favorite, "I Love You Stinky Face" and then his other favorite, Time for School, Stinky Face" Last year, my son now 12 had a very bad case of pneumonia. I would read his school work to him so he wouldn't get behind, one day he stuck the Stinky face books in with his school books. So I read them to him again.

Kelly said...

Brittani - if you have the scripture references - I would love for you to send them to me (but only if you have time).

raenette said...

One thing that Zane loves (3) is doing a story day with some of his friends at the library or out one of our houses. We read a book or two and then do a fun easy craft that goes along with the book and then try to get the toddlers to re-tell the story. At two it was just a few words of the story but as they get older the vocabulary grows and even if they are squirming you will be surprised at how much they remember from the story with the craft.

Liz*** said...

I LOVE Redeeming Love. My all time fav. How cool that your friend sent that to Jen. That sounds like something I would do. Maybe someday she will read it and be changed forever! I tell everyone about that book.

David Campbell said...

David and I keep wondering when Francine Rivers is going to stop being lazy and write another incredible book!:) Mrs. Rivers, if you are reading this, I must apologize and say that I am respectfully are amazing!
She is my all time favorite author and one of David's as well. We have all of her books if you ever need a good read.
Love you!

Danette said...

Yes, Redeeming Love is my most favorite book of all time as well. (followed closely by Where the Red Fern Grows--that's the teacher in me) I read Redeeming Love in one setting when my husband and I were newly married, I woke him up at 3 in the morning bawling my eyes out, he wasn't as moved as I was, probably because he couldn't understand what I was trying to tell him between my sobs!

Kelly said...

I am with you- Redeeming Love is my all time favorite, and couldn't put it down. I love that soemeone sent it to Jennifer Aniston:-) That is so sweet!

Deidre said...

I love Redemming Love. I could not put that book down. Oddly enough, I haven't read any other Francine Rivers books, and probably should, but that one was Fabulous.

Jill said...

Redeeming Love was my first read for my 25 books to be read this year. A very sweet story.

I'm currently reading The No-Cry Potty Training book. And Elmo's Potty dvd is helping in that department too.

fullheartandhands mama said...

Thanks for the book suggestions. And to think I thought myself pretty knowledgeable about childrens books. Three of the five you mentioned were new ones for me. My first child is definitely a book lover, my second likes them but not all equally. Sharing books is one of my favorite ways to spend time with my kids so I'll look forward to using your ideas.

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

Redeeming Love. LOVE IT. Can somebody say Michael Hosea?

Cindi said...

Redeeming Love? Oh you have to read "Leotta's Garden" from Francine and then...the "Mark of the Lion" trilogy also Ms.Rivers. And don't plan on doing any housework while reading the trilogy. Also... you will have black circles under your eyes from reading all night (see previous blog about red lipstick and dark circles) LOL!

Cindi said...

About getting little ones interested in reading or listening to books...Have him paste photos, his already commissioned fridge art or pics from a magazine onto paper folded in half for the book look.
Then let him create the story around the pictures as mom writes his words. Let him pick the title and he will be the author. He will want you to read to him everyday......Hemmingway beware! fave when I was little was Mike Mulligan and his steamshovel, Mary is still in print and I even read it to all of my kids. Plan on reading it to my grandbabies too.