Monday, November 15, 2010

The Wimpy Kid, Iron Giant and more

In the last 2 years, E has been diligently introducing a wide range of books to Marcus.

For almost every visit he made to Kinokuniya, which is his top choice of book store in Singapore, he would walk out with a bag of books. Usually, at least half of them would be for the boys. He really spares no expenses when it comes to purchasing books.

This is one area which we differ greatly.

I am a library-goer who lugs back 18 books every fortnight for the boys, and would think thrice before spending any money on new books. 

E, on the other hand, visits the library once every few years, but he won't bat an eyelid to spend a few grands at Kinokuniya every quarter.

Despite my protests (and sometimes nagging) of the lack of storage space on our bookshelves and the crazy amount spent on books each month, I still find new books in the house every few weeks.

Now, I have learnt to keep my mouth shut, and be grateful that this is his way of showing love for the boys. At least, when he brings back those fat books, he is also happy to be the one reading to the boys. 

Here are a few of those fascinating reads which Marcus has read several times, from cover-to-cover. While they appear to be a little too advanced in content and plot for little Chip, he has enjoyed the reading sessions just as much as his brother. In fact, he doesn't seem to be lost in the plot at all, going by the fact that he is able to narrate the stories back to us with details. One thing for certain, he has picked up a fair number of new words, and once again, demonstrated his incredible memory power for a 4 years old. :>

This is such a funny read. Marcus has read the first two books countless times, often during the brief periods when he has to wait for something.

I am not familiar with these two books, but the boys are. They are able to narrate the stories to me in great details and seem to really enjoy them. 

Like all good fathers, E can't wait to share with his boys the wonderful books that he has read in his childhood. Recently, he has also introduced to Marcus new genres such as horror stories for young readers and science fiction books. Some are eagerly received by our avid reader, while others have been shelved for various reasons. 

As always, I am relieved and happy that E places such high emphasis on literacy and is taking a proactive approach to educating the kids. Especially since I have my hands full coaching the boys in the other areas of development. 


Ching Ling (Heidi's mum) said...

Hi Shirley

Your hub is really doing a fantastic job - if only i can inspire my hub to do the same. He was never a "reader", so probably its harder for him to start it off :)..i am also a shopper for books, especially those nice reads that is recommended from your site and from other mummies as well..Heidi has loads of books (especially with the convenience of booksdepository which sends to your mailbox direct!).

The Beauties In Our Lives said...

Hey Shirley - I can fully empathise with you being a library hoarder, I am like that as well! However, I can also understand why your hubby would like to purchase popular classics or those books that he read when young...because this allows the kids to read and reread the books as well :) I bought entire series of books that I used to read as a little girl, and Nicole had since read and reread those books many times. She told me she gains new perspectives every time she rereads these books. Your hubby is wonderful in imparting the love of reading in your boys!

Lyn said...

Hi Shirley

Thanks for your generous sharing on parenting, I am an avid reader of your blog. :-)

In terms of books selection, do you or your hubby focus on certain guidelines to choose from? For example, I have read/heard some reviews that "The Diary of a Wimpy Kid" is not a very good book for kids because of the content and some of the words used in the content such as scolding people with the word "jerk!". However, I can see its a very popular and best selling book for kids.

Would like to ask for your views in this area. Thks!

Malina said...

I agree with Ching Ling!Shirley,your hubby is doing a great thing by making such great books available to the kids!And his choice in books for the children is also praiseworthy!We parents tend to think that young readers only want to read picture books.However,even Shakespeare(in a modified way) can be introduced to children in the age group of 5-6 years.

My hubby is also not a reader and not keen on buying books but since a few months ago whenever he was spending time with our kids,I used to convince him to sneak in some read aloud time.Now,though he doesn't like reading,he loves reading aloud to the kids!

Domesticgoddess said...

Hi Ching Ling, I know many parents who are not keen readers themselves. Personally, I think it is not necessary for both parents to be reading books to kids. We can "specialize" in different areas. But sometimes, all that loving daddies need is a little reminder from time to time of the importance of parents setting a good example and be a role model.. when kids see us reading and enjoying books, they will learn that reading is a good thing. :>

From what I've seen of Heidi, I think you must have done a fabulous job with her so far. :)

Domesticgoddess said...

Hi Linette, yes I do agree that there are lots of benefits to owning good books. I don't mind investing in good books, and we can never have enough good books. My only lament is the lack of space! Because we own the books, the boys do read them over and over, as and when they fancy. It can only be a good thing. :>

Domesticgoddess said...

Hi Lyn, you are most welcome. We don't follow any hard and fast rules when it comes to picking books for the kids, except that we must find the books interesting and well-written to begin with. We own a lot of the children classics and also a large selection of books which my hubby enjoyed in the past.

But with regards to what you mentioned about Wimpy Kids and the likes, actually my hubby has never read them before. He picked them because he thought Marcus would enjoy the books. Marcus does have a good sense of humour and enjoy comics a lot right now.

I can understand the concerns that you (and many parents) may have about the language and content in Wimpy Kids, but it does not bother us. We don't think it is beneficial nor necessary to "bubble-wrap" the kids in this instance. Whether we like it or not, words such as "jerk", "stupid" etc.. are commonly used and hence is part of reality. Whether they were to read them in books or not, they will, at some point, come across the words, through friends or schoolmates.

I think it is more important that we educate them accordingly. So if they come across such words in books, we explain what they mean and take the opportunities to explain why we don't think it is a nice thing to say.

But of course,there is a line that we don't cross - obviously I won't introduce books that contain vulgarities, regardless how brilliant the author or content may be otherwise.

Have you read the series "Nicholas" by Rene Goscinny? There are lots of name calling and unkind comments from the different characters, but that is part of the story as the kids went on with their mischief. After reading the whole series, my boy may have learnt the terms, but he also realized how unkind and insensitive people can be and is determined not to be one of them. This "lesson" doesn't affect his enjoyment of the books at all. He still laughs out loud whenever he reads them.

Domesticgoddess said...

Well done Malina, in persuading your hubby! Your efforts and persistence with the kids will pay off for sure. I can tell Ibnat really loves books and she is such a bright spark. :>

I must agree with you on the choice of books and how we must not underestimate our little ones. But that said, if we choose something that is written for older target market, the person reading the books to the young listeners must be patient in explaining the plot. Well, you know what I mean with the literature I have picked for our lapbooking classes. :>


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