Monday, July 13, 2009

Short Cut To Reading

My first attempt to introduce J to Harriet The Spy fell flat on its face. She skimmed through a few pages and pronounced that she did not care for the book. This is an all too familiar theme in our household. I am the book scavenger and J is the "rejecter" of them. I read the book myself and really enjoyed it. My sense was, if J could be persuaded to stick with it for a bit she would like it too. I have had similar luck with Enid Blyton books that I have tried to get her interested in. I can't for the life of me understand how a curious kid like J may not enjoy stories of mystery, sleuthing and adventure. But again, I am yet to get a handle on the genres and authors that will click with her consistently.

Recently, I got the audio book version of Harriet The Spy and J is now in love with it - I don't easily give up on books that I believe have potential and will open doors to other worlds of reading. I have no talent for reading aloud and knowing that have never tried to - it makes all the difference to have a book read well or have it read in an insipid way (which is what I will be able to do).

Given the success with Harriet The Spy now,
The Little Prince, Treasure Island and Kidnapped in the past, I think I may have found a working solution to J's summary rejection of books I would really love for her to read. Maybe if she listens to the story and likes it enough, she may at some point end up reading it as well. And even she did not, she would have experienced the book in another form. This is not unlike the compromises I make in order to get her to eat healthy even the meal lacks in variety - one big serving of chicken stew with a bunch of vegetables thrown in it instead of trying to get her through a three course dinner.

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