Tuesday, October 30, 2012

These are a few of our favorite books...

So, D2 loves reading. It is usually on his terms, though.
All the parenting advice goes along the lines of gearing reading towards bedtime, as you futilely attempt to wind your child down so they fall asleep peacefully.
D2 does not go down peacefully. The only way to get anywhere with him is to run him ragged (but not too ragged), so by the time it's 8, he just crawls into his cradle himself.

When he wants to read, it's usually morning. So we go get a book (or two) and drag them to Dada, who is still sleeping. Then we peep at him (well, ok, only D2 is peeping), and if that does not work, Dada gets whacked on the head with a book. That is D2's subtle clue to Dada to wake the hell up. Dada does not mind. So, they settle in and read while I get ready for work.

I'm amazed how H does not get tired of reading the same books over and over, but I guess I do the same (D2 wants to read all the time, just not at bed time).
H can't read Russian, of course, but there are plenty English books in our arsenal.
His most favorite book is Big Gus, which I got at a yard sale. It's a cute little book about Big Gus, the Double Decker Bus. He goes around town without any fuss.... Oh, sorry, fell into routine for a second.
Where was I? Oh, right. It's a cute enough book with adorable illustrations and rhymes that I don't get sick of it, no matter how many times we read it.
Then we have "I Love Fruit" which a) is absolutely true in his case, b) has great graphic design style illustrations, with textures and patterns, and c) is super easy, because all it has are the pictures of fruits, sorted by color.
Then we've got "Hello, Animals", a black-and-white book with some SHINEH bits.
The text goes something like this: "Hello, panda! Hello, cow! Hello, tiger!"
I read it with Seinfeld overtone, a la "Hello, Newman." I don't know why I started it, but now that I have, it's impossible to read it any other way. So we have a very passive-aggressive themed book, inadvertently.
The two Russian books D2 adores were sent to me by my really cool friend from Moscow. They are both clay-illustrated folk tales. The one on the top is about a little house in the middle of a meadow. First, a mouse comes across it, knocks, no one's home, so she just moves in. Then she is joined by the frog, then the bunny, then the fox, then the wolf, and they all live in a happy squatter commune until the bear shows up. In the version that I remember from my childhood, he wants to live in the little house, too, but is too large to fit, so he squishes the house (the animals escape) and then they all build a large domicile to accommodate everyone. THIS version just has the bear out of the blue smash the house and all the animals run away.
The End.
No happy endings for us, Russians! The moral of the story apparently is this: Life is tough. DEAL WITH IT!
At least that is what I suspect.

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