Friday, March 16, 2007

Books are your best friends

I've just read 2 very inspiring posts by Orchid and Tharini - on reading. And it set me down memory lane as well.

I don't remember being read to as a child. But I do remember lots of books in our house. And my fav elder cousins reading books. Probably that set me off on the reading road. A road well taken. Of course my mom was always around to help me through with meanings and pronunciations of words I didn't get.

When sonny was born I was determined to get him into a reading mode too. When he was 6 months old - I first ventured into our local library to get books. Thanks to the local government rules - we soon found out that we had been moved to another library much further away - and so sonny's reading sessions stopped. We bought him some picture books which he just loved. Very often I would feel a tug on my pants and would turn to see sonny clenching a book, demanding to be read to.

But that seems to be the extent of his patience for books. He just wont sit still while I read out a story to him. He seems more interested in turning the pages all at once or tearing it apart. I have often wondered, if this is because, the books are in English and we don't speak English at home. Or maybe they just aren't the right books. My mother suggested, I tell him a story at bedtime or at dinner time, sans book, just so that he gets the idea of what a story is. Have tried that too, albeit half-heartedly.

While we have carried his picture books with us to India, they seem to languish in the corner all the time while sonny runs in the lawn like a mad banshee. Forced sessions with books mean that pages get turned furiously and book gets shut.

Anyone out there with suggestions, advice, anything on how I can encourage sonny to sit down with me and a book. May be book recommendations?



At 4:32 PM, Blogger @ said...

S2s: have you tried board books? And books with no or minimal words, just pictures (eg: Hug, Goodnight Gorilla, the Red book)? I am not sure about where you can get them in Delhi(is that where you are now?), but once you come back to the US, you can check them out at the local bookstore...try the ones by Eric Carle, touch and feel ones (Usborne) - "That's not my.." series is awesome, because it is so interactive...and it engages a kid that age. The likes of Baby's First Words is good too. You can also try Amar Chitra Katha and recite the stories in Hindi.... Don't even think about sitting him down and actually reading to him in English. To him, that won't make any sense and he won't get the story, so he won't find it any fun. As a first step, it would be a good idea to find books that may sound too simple for Sonny's age - but ones that he can easily point out objects and identify with. Once he realizes what fun books can be, you can come back to the picture stories. One other thing I've noticed with K is that if I am enthu and super excited about a book or story, he is too...and I do animate a lot of story telling for him.
A book post is long overdue on my blog, so will post some other tricks on how I started off with K soon, meanwhile feel free to check out Kodi's bookshelf. And lastly, if you don't alredy know about them, Saffron Tree, has *excellent* recos.

At 4:35 PM, Blogger @ said...

i didn't realize how long my comment had gotten!! oops :)
I shoudl have just posted on my blog!!!

At 10:16 PM, Blogger Fuzzylogic said...

@-Those were excellent suggestions,even I can use them thanks:)
STS-I guess some kids just can't sit through the books,my brother was like that it seems,my mom always said she never thought would get any interest in books.But perhaps some interactive story books like what @ suggested would do the trick.I get the ones with music so whenever she turns the pages there are pictures,stories with music so she loves them.And I always animate a whole lot characters in the book and make noises so she enjoys them.I think being in India and having so much of people around books usually would be the last on sonny's mind,let him have fun there!

At 12:31 PM, Blogger Rohini said...

With Ayaan, I find that the mre I push such things, the more he loses interest so I wouldn't do the forced reading sessions... also, read him English books but in Hindi.

At 3:58 PM, Blogger That Armchair Philosopher said...

My mum started reading to me - I don't even remember when. But I'm guessing it was pretty early because I've got picture books (or had till recently) from when I was 2 or 3. Thats about two decades ago heheh.

So perhaps reading to your kid is a really good option, but perhaps you want to do it when (s?)he is slightly older - in a year perhaps. Before then, instead of reading out stories, a better idea would be to get stuff which is more physical - colors, et al. As @ already mentioned - and I agree - reading out actual stories isn't going to make too much of a difference at this stage.

Oh, and strains of Mozart are supposed to be really good, I hear. :D

Hullo - how're you doing? :)

At 1:08 PM, Blogger Something to Say said...

@: We did start out with board books - with pics and minimal words, "baby's first words". He luved those - and we've been reading them for about 6 months or so. I was kinda hoping to move him to one line stories or something. Maybe its too early for him.
Will also check out Saffron Tree. Thanks for all your tips :)

fuzzy: Yeah maybe its because he is in India - there is so much activity happening here - so many cars - so many people. I guess he's just absorbing the sights, sounds and smells.

rohini: yeah I wudnt want to do force reading - it just defeats the purpose of building reading as a hobby

TAP: Maybe we shud get him more of those touchy-feely books. The trouble with boys is - you get him one of those 'peekaboo' books or pop up books, he's more interested in figuring out the mechanics of how that works. I know curiosity is good and all that - but it just frustrates me that "my" son - is taking to reading, easily.

At 11:49 PM, Blogger itchingtowrite said...

u guys r setting me off to write my own experience. will post mine on my blog today
btw, responidng to your answer on my blog... the gentleman was my boss & we were 2 of us - girls as u put.. one of them was me..and the other was the lady who handled the Lever account...

At 10:13 AM, Blogger Sanjay said...

Sorry I can't offer any but was intersting to read about it anyways. :)

At 2:38 PM, Blogger Orchid said...

I am late...and I haven't read through the other comments so you may have already got this advise..let sonny guide you..he wants to flip pages, indulge him...patience is key, you may have to try repeatedly, I did that with my li'l boy. If you have friends with kids the same age, try reading in a group..when they see other kids showing interest then the usually pick up too and then again each kid is different...let him tell you the pace, try only picture books, you don't need to tell him stories yet, once he is past that-bottomonline there is not hard and fast rule!

At 12:29 AM, Blogger Fuzzylogic said...

You've been tagged.Check my post for details.I'm sure you will enjoy this one!


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