I've been reading The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease the past few days. Most of it is fairly familiar stuff (I mean, the most basic premise of the book is read to your kids. Often. Starting as young as possible, continuing for as long as they can stand to hear your voice). But it's given me some new ideas for encouraging or fascilitating read-aloud time. Like I now have a stash of a few books in the kitchen, near our dining table, and we've spent some time over breakfast and lunch several days this week reading Mo Willems and Bill Peet. I'm stashing baskets of books all over the house so there's always something interesting to see or offer to read.
We've also been exploring audiobooks in the car. This week we've been listening to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I was fully prepared for the boys to reject it and call it boring, but they seem into it so far-- they sometimes even ask o listen for another few minutes once we've gotten to our destination, before getting out of the car. D also asked to re-download the Lego Harry Potter game we had on the ipad to play it again, so he's experiencing the stories that was as well. I've gotten a few others from the library for us to give a listen to. I have a cd of Douglas Adams reading a few excerpts of his books at a live concert that the boys found hilarious, I think more because of Adams' highly animated reading style more than anything, so I got my hands on him reading Hitchhiker's Guide and we'll give that a listen soon, too. I've told him in passing about the part with the whale materializing in space and falling, and this morning I found the passage in the book and read it to him and he loved it, too, and I just love those moments of sharing something awesome with my kid.
It's exciting because the past few months D in particular has seemed kinda... meh... on books and reading. He doesn't like going to the library anymore or picking out his own books. When I read to Quinn D will often come join us (funny how as a baby Q was the one who discouraged reading time so much, bc it was so difficult with him around... now Q is often the one to initiate, and get the rest of us to sit and read with him), but D hasn't been as interested in initiating reading. It just seemed like he was less into books in general. And yeah, this bummed me out. But I had hoped it was a phase, and sure enough he's coming around again and it's great. Part of the key is finding the right books to hook him in-- right now he loves graphic novels, and anything silly or funny. He LOVES the Pet Shop Private Eye books (I finally started buying copies of our own, after checking them out from the library multiple times), and Binky the Space Cat, and also greatly enjoyed the Zita the Spacegirl books. And he's even been more into picture books again, whereas for a while there he seemed to kinda turn his nose at them. It's pretty awesome to have him running up to me again asking, "Can we read some of this now, please?"