"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Reading Aloud: Now and Then

Week 2:  Now & Then

1. I think everyone in the world should read...

When I was 10:  Pippi LongstockingCaddie WoodlawnThe Diamond in the Window, and Rabbit Hill come quickly to mind when thinking about books I read in elementary school. But what would my 10 year-year-old self have been trying to get others to read?  I will go with All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor.  I loved this series.  I grew up in the city and could relate to the girls environment and their close-knit family, but their way of life was so different as to be intriguing. I think what attracted me was reading about life in a simpler time.

Now: Oh dear.  This is very hard. There are so many books I want my students, friends and family to read.  I could easily say, Wonder by R.J. Palacio.  It is incredible and I have put it in every student, teacher, family member and friend's hand that I can, but I am going to have to go with Winnie-The-Pooh by A.A.Milne. This is a book that was read to me when I was young, that I read to my children and that I try to put in students' hands.  I give it away in a new baby "basket of books". The celebration of imagination and creativity is the best in any book I have read.  I see the themes and ideas from Winnie the Pooh reinvented in newer stories, such as when, in Bink and Gollie, there is a trek to the Andes.  Reading this part, which I loved, felt like an homage to Christopher Robin traveling to Africa and back one morning.  Winnie-The-Pooh is also ever so quotable!

2. If I could listen to anyone in the world read aloud to me it would be...

When I was 10: My mother.  She has a beautiful cadence and a lovely lilt to her voice. She was an early childhood educator - I was a student in her head start program in the 60's.  She knows how to read a story.

Now: Still my mother.  These days we often have three generations in a house at one time and inevitably Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys is pulled off a shelf and the performance begins. She is the hands down read aloud winner.

3. When I read aloud, my favorite character to impersonate is...
When I was 10: Tough to say.  I think my favorite character to impersonate was Pippi Longstocking.  She was so sassy and smart.

Now: Again, so many good ones to choose from!  I would have to go with Flossie, from Flossie and the Fox by Patricia McKissack.  What can I say....she's sassy and smart.

4. The genre that takes up the most room on my bookshelf (or e-reader) is...

My house is and was filled with bookshelves of books.  Readers beget readers and my parents are very big readers, so for this question, I will go with the book stack next to my bed.

When I was 10: Historical fiction, hands down, followed by animal fantasy.  As I mentioned above, I loved reading books like Caddie Woodland and Rabbit Hill.

Now: If I take away the books I am reading for work (which is a pleasure, mind you).  I would likely say Poetry followed closely by historical fiction, if you can call Jane Austen's books historical fiction.  They remain by my bedside so I can pick them up and visit with old friends any time I want.

5. The last book I wish I’d written or inspired me to write my own story is...

When I was 10: I would say The Diary of Anne Frank. After reading the book, I kept a diary for fifteen years straight. There's not much to my story, but it did inspire me to write!
Now: When my children were young they loved the Boynton books.  Inspired by A is for Angry: An Animal and Adjective Alphabet, I wrote a winter alphabet book.  It is sitting on my desktop ten years later.  
I had so much fun answering these questions.  It shows that books create lasting impressions. Help make connections like these possible for all people around the globe.

March 6, 2013
Join the World Read Aloud Day movement

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