Posts Tagged ‘books

Owly – Just a Little Blue, by Andy Runton

Owly & Wormy – Friends all Aflutter, by Andy Runton

Ahhh, it’s spring time and everything seems so new again!

We got our bikes out, so Sophie and I have added some days of work and daycare commuting using our conjoined bike. So far it has been great! We have a low stress, downhill route in the morning and a bit more tricky (left hand turns and more traffic) ride uphill at the end of the day. Since this is still pretty new for us we are getting use to each other’s rythm and ways. The bike ride home seems to be Sophie’s preferred time to be a Star. There has never been a doubt that in our small family she is the born performer! During the bike riding she belts out every song she can think of including a good mix of Christmas favourites and songs I assumed she would have forgotten from mom and baby drop-in centre days (which seem so long ago now). She also includes some I’m sure are her own creation. It is this last batch that made me think she was ready for the type of children’s book without words – make up your own story. We had tried some of these  books before, with mixed success. However a recent library blog on kid’s comics plus her creative bike expressions suggested it was time to try that kind of book again. I think we are both glad they are in our current library borrowed pile!

Our usual morning breakfast routine was changed a bit this week. Sophie wanted to use a bar stool to eat at the little window/ledge that connects our kitchen and dining area. I find it so difficult to get her to focus on eating in the morning that I’m happy to accommodate most requests. This morning Sophie decided to entertain herself with Owly – Just a Little Blue while she sat there with her cereal. Her story evolved around an apple and I may have broken her interpretation when I told her the name of the owl. She only made it through a few pages, but as a natural story teller, I have a feeling she will be revisiting this one.

We also borrowed a copy of the picture book interpretation of this character Owly & Wormy – Friends all Aflutter, which we will have a look at this week.

I love to encourage my daughters to use their imaginations. As I’ve suggested in the past, this skill is often overlooked, but can be one of the best sources of satisfaction throughout life. While the timing with the wordless books didn’t work some months ago, now it seems to have found a receptive audience. I find it hard to know what kind of reading material will be appropriate when. I guess the trick is just to keep track of these possible tools and keep trying different ones until we find the ones that work to help our children develop in the way and at the pace that is right for them!

Happy story telling!


In Front of My House by Marianne Dubuc

It was brewing in the news and in the union support campaign all fall/winter, so the recently-ended strike by Toronto library staff should not have come as a surprise. The strike, which lasted two weeks, centred on the workers refusing a contract that would have diminished their job security. What could the city’s plan have resulted in? Reduced hours, fewer resources, closed branches and ultimately less access to books. Each morning Sophie and I walked past the librarian picket line in front of City Hall on our way to daycare. While some were the lovely early spring days in March, anyone who has ever been involved in any kind of public demonstration knows how grueling these efforts are.

I think all library users owe these workers a huge thank you for taking this very important stand.

During these two weeks I was constantly reminded of how important our library is in supporting my daughters’ learning. The challenge of new and interesting books is especially important for beginning readers. Last night Elizabeth began reading In Front of My House to Sophie and me. We found this book just waiting for us to pick up when our local Branch re-opened. Its unusual size, lovely illustrations, quirky use of font sizes and word placement, and use of repetition makes it a great book for those just becoming comfortable reading aloud.

This book provided a huge boost to Elizabeth’s confidence as a reader. It was also fun for Sophie to practice some counting. After Elizabeth had finished, Sophie flipped through the pages to re-tell her own version of the story. It was a lovely and positive way to end our day. I can’t thank the library enough for all the ways it enriches our lives.

We invite any other beginning readers ! to let us know some of the books that they have discovered on the shelves of their local branch. Welcome back!