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Books we are loving.

1 Feb

It’s been a while since I have posted about what we’ve been reading.

It’s certainly NOT because we haven’t been reading!

We read all the time. We meaning BC and I. Bean has been a little slower on the uptake and I was getting worried that he might not share his big brother’s love of books, but over the past few months, he’s started bringing me books to read and pestering me to join in when I am reading books to his brother. I am glad I didn’t push the issue with him and he’s come to love books on his own.

So here’s what we’ve been reading:

BC has fallen head over heels in love with the Charlie and Lola books. I love the pictures and the text (which is mostly dialogue) is particulary fun to read aloud. We’ve watched the TV show a few times, which is fun, but the books are way better. They are also a good transition from picture books as they have a little more writing on each page. His favourite is ‘But excuse me That is my book’. Gold Star to Lauren Child from us!

We’re also loving the adventures of Curious George. I know there’s a TV show of this too, but we’ve never seen it. The books have been around quite a while, but they are timeless, fun and cheeky – George always gives BC the giggles. His favourite (not surprisingly given his love of trains) is ‘Curious George Takes a Train’. Again, they are another good transition from picture book to story book because the text is just a little more dense.

Pamela Allen. Most of her books are great.  Little Bean loves them and BC has been been reading them since he was close to Bean’s age and still hasn’t tired of the stories. In particular, we like ‘Mr McGee and the Biting Flea’ and ‘Mr Mcgee and the Big Bag of Bread‘.

Dr Suess. How can he not be??? In particular, we love ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ and “Horton Hatches The Egg”.

And another timeless classic that I remember reading as a child has become faves around here – ‘Rosies Walk’ by Pat Hutchins. We’re also loving ‘The Wind Blew” by her as well.

Two cute books that have caught both BC and Bean’s attention lately are ‘Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus’ and ‘Don’t Let the Pigeon stay up late’.

Bob Graham. His stories are so sweet. In particular, we love ‘Max’ – the child of superheroes who takes a long time to learn to fly.

BC’s FAVOURITE books when he was very little, have recently become faves of the Little Bean too – they are two books by the wonderful Rob Campbell.  We love ‘Oh Dear’ and ‘Dear Zoo’. They truly are the most perfect lift the flap books,  ever.

And me? I have been reading LOTS lately. I recently read, and loved, Oryx and Crake by the wonderful Margaret Atwood and I am currently reading ‘The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith’ an Australian classic. Sitting on the shelf, waiting for me to read next is Kiran Desai, ‘The Inheritance of Loss’.

OK, that’s enough from our library for now! Oh and ALL of us are always open to new suggestions!!

Underestimated….

14 Dec

Have you ever totally embarrassed yourself by underestimating your child’s ability in front of others? That was (oooppps!) me today, but I am very happy to admit it.

We were at (another) Christmas party – for my husband’s work. It’s a big deal – rides, presents, live performances, full Christmas lunch.

It was a fun daimg_12991y.

It was the first time BC agreed to have his face painted. He really wanted to be a pirate (and insisted on a blue eye patch). It took quite an effort to get him to look at the camera and take his eyes off himself in the mirror that the girl handed him when she was doneimg_13032. He loved his new look.

It was the first time he wanted to sit on Santa’s knee too. He’s really got the hang of the idea that this guy is going to give him a present. He loved his present too (a toy car that tows a toy quadbike). Bean, on the other hand was TERRIFIED and very unconvinced that the man in the big red suit was one of the good guys ;-)

And it was the first time he really, really, really wanted to go on a ride. The ride was a merry go round sort of ride with cars. I was fine with him going on the ride, but worried about his balance, so sat on the ride with him. Only to be told by the guy operating the ride that it wasn’t possible for me to ride along. It couldn’t take the extra weight.

I told the operator my son had a disability and needed my help. I told him he couldn’t balance well enough to stay on the ride himself. I told him he might freak out and possibly fall off. He told me (quite politely!) that all that didn’t change the fact that I was too heavy for the ride.

img_13381My husband told me to chill out and see what happens (he’d watched the ride already and seen it was pretty slow).

So, I backed off. And nervously watched from the sidelines. Nervous for a minute. Then elated as BC img_13221proved me wrong on every point. He balanced perfectly, laughed his head off and didn’t look even close to needing (or wanting!) my assistance.

So yeah, I was embarrassed, but happily so. And now altering my expectations. I hope not to underestimate him again!

A Christmas Party…

8 Dec

We had the break up Christmas Party for BC’s early intervention centre CPEC today. It was a lovely day, complete with visit from Santa, a police horse (who poked his head in the window to watch all the kids getting presents from Santa, much to their delight!) and a baby animal petting zoo.

img_10132BC was happy to hold a rabbit and a guinea pig but wasn’t very impressed by the pig trying to nuzzle up to him.

It was a special time to catch up with some of the other families we’ve got to know well over the year, but it was also a little sad as our group sessions are going to be changing a little next year and we won’t get to hang out with some of the same kids and parents. AND we’re going to have a change of therapists. VERY sadly for us, that means a different speech therapist. We ADORE our speech therapist and I am really saddened that she’s being moved to work with another group. Her replacement will have VERY BIG shoes to fill ;-).

We’ve always known how lucky we are to attend such a fabulous place for therapy, but days like today really bring it home to me just how integral CPEC is to our life these days.

But ya know, we’re also really, really, really looking forward to our few months off. When we won’t have to rush out the door at 9am, when I don’t have to scramble around to find someone to watch over Little Bean and where BC and Little Bean can have lazy Mondays lolling around the house….

It’s our ‘normal’ family time – and I can’t wait!

Books we love

11 Apr

We read books a LOT. I mean seriously, a LOT.

In fact, if it were up to BC we wouldn’t do much else.

So it’s in my very best interest to choose books that I like as much as he does. Because once he’s found a book that he likes, we will pretty much read nothing else until the pages are worn out and I can pretty much read it with my eyes closed.

Thank goodness for libraries.

And for my super aunts who taught me a love of good books when I was a child and are now wonderfully still buying books for my children too.

We read a lot of Maisy books, Bananas in Pyjamas and Noddy books but the books we really love at the moment are -

In The Night Kitchen – Maurice Sendak.

Actually, I have loved this book too since I was a child and we read my old very well thumbed copy of the text. We should really buy another copy. I was a brotherless child and therefore a little shocked at the sight of Mickey’s naked body and drew some clothes on him. I wasn’t the only one who did this. I was interested recently to read that the book when it was first published in 1970 was actually quite controversial and librarians also gave him some clothes. I really must get to the shops and buy my boys their own, uncensored version – but I’m torn because I also love the fact that I am reading to them the exact same copy of the book that was once read to me. I think that’s special.

BC loves the artwork and thinks the fact he loses his clothes, nearly gets baked into a cake and turns the batter into an aeroplane is fantastic. It’s always a winner and I could honestly read it over and over again.

‘Harriet, you’ll drive me wild’, by Mem Fox

Mem Fox is awesome. The usual favourite is “Where is the Green Sheep’, which is great, but I love this one more.

Whenever BC frustrates me (which ok, I’ll admit is often, he is 3 after all!) my catchcry has now become a borrowed line from the book ‘BC, my darling child. BC, you’ll drive me wild’ which he just loves. It diffuses even the most tense of moments into giggles…..

You really do need to read this book and, as we do, interpose your own child’s name in place of Harriet, who ‘was a pesky child. She didn’t mean to be. She just was.’ It’s so gorgeous and so true. And I love that if I DO lose my cool, we can venture back to this book to talk about how sometimes mummy’s do get cross, ‘just like that’….

‘The Story of Growl’ by Judith Horacek

Judith Horacek is actually the illustrator of Where is the Green Sheep. This book, which she wrote and illustrated is gorgeous. It was an Easter gift and our new favourite. Little Growl the monster is different and his growling not very socially acceptable to his neighbours. I love that rather than Growl being forced to change, his difference is ultimately celebrated. The text is sparing and beautiful and the illustrations are gorgeous. AND BC now LOVES to practice his growl (or ‘gow’ at least ;-)).

I wish I could say I am reading something of my own, ie. a ‘grown up book’, that is equally impressing me. I haven’t read a book since we got back from our holiday overseas. Sad, but true ;-(. I have however, just picked up a copy of Tibor Fishcer’s ‘Don’t Read This If you’re stupid‘ from the library. Reviews I’ve read are mixed, but any collection of short stories with such a title must be worth a look. And apparently one of his other books ‘Under The Frog’ is brilliant. The library didn’t have that one, so I am starting out with a ‘taster’. I haven’t read a collection of short stories for ages, so I am looking forward to getting into it…..soon.

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