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Psalm 78
. . . we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. .
so the next generation would know them . . . and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Holiday Reading

Our children are spending the blessed break from school between Christmas and New Year's reveling in their new diversions--more Thomas track, Lincoln logs, a new wardrobe for 18" dolls, and new audiobooks like "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." Meanwhile, I'm doing my best to squeeze in some family pleasure reading (books not connected with our school subjects). For Christmas the kids received a copy of Edward Eager's "Half Magic" and Eve Titus' "Anatole" both of which I discovered through a list of children's books in the Wall Street Journal. Although both books are classics, I didn't find them when I was a child.

"Half Magic" is, well, charming. This book about four siblings looking for summertime adventure has not failed to disappoint. It is a fun read-aloud in which these four find a magic coin which brings them half of their wishes, a situation that results in their cat talking only jibberish. Cats talking jibberish in a read-aloud are guaranteed to bring peals of laughter to one's living room!

Meanwhile, Sydney, Hope and Lane have a new favorite in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" another book which didn't figure into my childhood reading. And why shouldn't everyone break down in a fit of giggles to this irresistible poem sung by the Oompa-Loompas, about a fat boy who fell into a river of fudge:

"Augustus Gloop! Augustus Gloop!
The great big greedy nincompoop!
How long could we allow this beast
To gorge and guzzle, feed and feast
On everything he wanted to?
Great Scott! It simply wouldn't do!
However long this pig might live,
We're positive he'd never give
Even the smallest bit of fun
Or happiness to anyone. . . "

This poem seems to have introduced our children to the wonderful word "nincompoop" which seems to be hysterically funny all by itself!

Meanwhile, our little Tobias (nearly two) is enjoying Thomas (the train) stories and his very favorite, "Old Hat, New Hat" by the Berenstains. He also likes "Anatole", which is great fun to read-aloud with a French accent (although I'm not very good at that!).

I am reading "The Princess and the Goblin" by George MacDonald. This beautiful story of a princess, written by C.S. Lewis' favorite author, is also new to me. I've just started it but will read it aloud to the kids after finishing "Half Magic."

Not to say that we are only reading. We've had several viewings of "Hello Dolly!", another Christmas gift, as well as "Meet Me in St. Louis."

The new year will bring school days again and less time for purely-pleasure reading. Still, most of our school reading assignments are pleasant enough and January will bring a study of the U.S. Civil War, the Underground Railroad, and Florence Nightingale and the Crimean War. I can't wait to read "The Charge of the Light Brigade" aloud to the kids. Who says school can't be fun?

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