Monday, December 6, 2010

Childhood Memories

We are a big reading family.  My children have a big bookcase in each of their rooms and the books are on high rotation.  It gets a bit frustrating reading the same childrens' books over and over again as any reading parent knows and there are certain books I silently groan at every time one of the kids brings them out, but mostly I enjoy reading to my kids and watching their little faces at the uncertainty of what is to come.  I ask lots of questions when we read as well, like "what do you think is going to happen next".  This is a really easy way to keep myself entertained as I read the book for the 100th time, as it doesn't matter if they know the outcome or not, the kidlets come up with a different answer each time.

So when my son pulled out "A Fish Out of Water" today I will admit that I did the silent groan.  However I originally bought the book for my daughter when I spied it in a book shop because it had been one of my favourite books when I was her age.  I wondered why and it dawned on me tonight.  It is a little book about a boy who feeds his fish to much.  The fish grows and grows until eventually the Fire Department have to take him to a swimming pool.  However the Fish Salesman comes to the rescue and dives into the pool with a little black box and suddenly Otto the Fish is back to his normal size.  How he does it, he will not reveal.  This was the magic formula for me, and it seems it is so for my kids.

It is the unknown that I loved as a child.  Not only did I get a great book, I could then go to sleep at night imagining all the possibly ways the Mr Carp managed to make Otto the Fish small again.  These sort of books let the imagination run wild.  "A Fish Out of Water" is a Dr Seuss book (although written by Helen Palmer) and he is the master of recognising that children don't want to be told what to imagine, they want to be given the tools to start the story in there head and let the story make it's own pace along it's own road in their head.  I remember pouring over my Dr Seuss books for hours as a child just looking at the pictures in wonderment.  So strange were the machines that they could have a million uses.  And how many times did you look at the buildings Dr Seuss draw and wondered where those set of stairs ended up.

What was your favourite Childhood book?

Jen & Row

1 comment:

  1. The 'Saggy Baggy Elephant' was one of my favourite books (the golden series). I love giving it as a gift as I hope the child loves it as much as I did.
    Dr Seuss - very clever books and a tongue-tie to read aloud sometimes! My kids also love them. Rowena x