Saturday, September 27, 2008

Serendipity and A Reading Milestone!


Last Saturday, while Keith took Devyn to ballet and music classes, I took Molly to the library. While browsing the shelves for titles that might interest Devyn, I found Arthur and the Race to Read (Marc Brown) nestled among the picture books. A chapter book? I hadn't considered that Devyn was ready to begin this phase.

The Arthur Good Sports series (of which The Race is the first title) is recommended for children aged 8 and up but that didn't matter. Why not try? I put the book with the others I intended to borrow.

I ignore the age-appropriateness recommendations attached to children's titles (including picture books) because I think I usually have a good sense of what my children can or cannot appreciate.

I'm also drawing from personal experience. I loved The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Barbara Robinson). I think it was my first chapter book and I was about six years old when I sat for a reading of it.

Also, as a rule, I do not like to make books off-limits. (Trust me, this is a tough one. I cringe inwardly when Devyn brings home a Powerpuffs book from school because I find them too violent. I tell her why I find them violent, even if "only bad guys are getting hurt", but that she's welcome to read -- or, in her case -- look through them.)

It was simply Devyn's ability to sit still long enough or to delay gratification long enough to hear the whole story that I questioned. But Devyn, newly five years old, is changing so quickly. I was wrong. She loved it. She and Keith had started reading it a few days ago and this evening Devyn announced, before bedtime, that they'd read the last two chapters.

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