Saturday, January 26, 2008

Reading For J

J finished reading Dairy of a Wimpy Kid a few weeks ago and announced in all seriousness that it is the best book she has read in her life. It had been random chapter books, Abby Hayes and Junie B Jones up to then. For a book to make J's reading list these days it must have hundred or more pages and no pictures - it is very important to not be caught reading a "baby book". I had to sneak and read Wimpy Kid being that J frowns upon grown ups who fail to mind their own business and raid the bookshelves of "little people" (her preferred way of depicting herself when she wishes to be viewed as a victim).

This book is a journal of a middle school boy replete with hilarious illustrations. To restate the obvious i.e. boys don't write diaries, the narrator Greg provides his disclaimer right out front - "Don't expect me to be all 'Dear Diary' this and 'Dear Diary' that". Luckily for the reader he does not walk the talk. This is the first webcomic I have read and I am ready for more if they are even half as good.

Jeff Kinney brings back memories of the early teen years - a time of great awkwardness combined with resentment at being generally misunderstood and unappreciated. Though technically this is a "boy book" anyone who is or has been Greg's age will be able to relate to him. Though J got most of the humor a second reading in the early part of middle school may prove much more enjoyable.

I have been trying to get J interested in poetry but it is hard to come by that first volume that will click and make her want to read more. My search for the perfectly nonthreatening introduction to poetry in contemporary English for first graders led me to this little gem by name of Flamingos On The Roof by Calef Brown. It even has a haiku.

Ten Cent Haiku

I sat down to write a haiku.

It seemed the right thing to do.

I wouldn't need very much time.

No need to bother
with making it rhyme.
I reached in my pocket and pulled out a dime.
This is my ten-cent haiku:

Shiny silver friend.

I will never let you go.

Look ! An ice cream truck !

1 comment:

ggop said...

Your recommendations for children's literature are so good HC - I would have never known about this book.
I'll keep my eyes open for gift ideas.