Saturday, January 4, 2014

Boy oh Boynton

As a child, my nose was always in a book.  My sister and I were notorious for bringing books to the dinner table and reading in the car even after it got nearly too dark to see.  Then I grew up and became an early elementary teacher, where half of my day was spent teaching kids how to read and getting them excited about books.

You can imagine my chagrin when I discovered that Jonathan didn't like books as a young toddler.  He would crawl over to us while we read aloud to him, just to grab the book or to shut it.  I read parenting books that encouraged us to continue to read books to our child, even if he appeared uninterested or even ignored us and played with something else.  So we did.  And somewhere between 18 months and 2 years of age, he came around...and now the kid loves books.

I am so excited to share with him the books that I've read to my classes over the years, or the different series of books that I enjoyed reading as a child.  But for now, we are solidly in the board book phase, which is totally cool with me too.  I am finding that, with multiple reads, some of the board books I'd coolly dismissed in the past have actually grown on me.

Sandra Boynton's books fall in this category - at first read, I thought they were just okay - simple little books.  But now I find them catchy/amusing, silly, and really cute. :)

The best thing about reading with Jonathan is having conversations about each page.  And the best thing about reading him these Sandra Boynton books is that the different books often feature similar characters...which he has named after the people in our family.

While Jonathan's character and my character might vary from day to day, he consistently calls the big brown bear "Appa" (what he calls Augustine - "daddy" in Korean) and the little rabbit "Abby."

I originally thought that it was because the bear was big and fatherly-looking and the rabbit was one of the smallest animals in the books.  But now I'm wondering if Jonathan just noticed a common theme that I myself didn't take note of until after many, many reads:

The bear and the rabbit are almost always together...
But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton 

 And the bear is always there to help the rabbit...
The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton 

(And this one is my favorite example) :
Hey! Wake Up by Sandra Boynton 

Isn't it so sweet?  Of course I may be reading into things a bit, but I feel like I've gotten a glimpse of the world through my two year old's eyes - the secure, loving parent-child relationship that he recognizes between Abby and her daddy.  And it makes me smile. :)

What about you?  What is your favorite children's book?  Are there any that you grew to love (or hate) after many reads?

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