Friday, July 13, 2007

readers raising readers...

when the thin man and i first met each other in a swing dance class, we didn't like each other at all. actually, i didn't like him, his conservative politics, his fraternity ties, his sporty red convertible or his smug little "i-know-better-than-thou" smile. apparently, he didn't really think anything of me, my artsy-fartsyness, my red STP jacket, or my pee-wee herman bike.

for some reason, we always ended up at class about 15 minutes early. often, we'd end up practicing our 8 count swingouts with each other. after one too many criticisms on my dancing, i decided to start bringing a book to class so that he would do the polite thing and not disturb my reading or ask me to dance.

i brought the most liberal, feminist, modern, sentimental, paradigm shifting, thought provoking book i had in my library - "the cider house rules" by john irving. i locked up my bike with a smile. i was so sure that he'd leave me alone - FOREVER! and then, soon after i cracked open the book and hid behind it, the thin man walked over and said something like, "hey! i read that book! i liked it a lot! 'good night, you princes of maine, you kings of new england!" and the rest, as they say, is history...

it turned out that among the many things we found we had in common, the thin man and i share a love of books and reading. it's also foremost of the many hobbies that we want to introduce and encourage in our children. so, i'm happy to report, with great pride, that the paloma finished "reading" her 25 books (and drawing her book reports) for the chicago city of big readers program.

in addition to another 5 book prize, she received a nifty t-shirt commemorating her accomplishment, her name was entered into the weekly prize raffle and the BIG, GRAND, U PICK WHICH PRIZE raffle (amongst the choices of a bike, a scooter, a gameboy, an ipod, and a toys r us gift certificate, etc.. the kid chooses to enter the gameboy raffle. oh well.) anyhoo, just in case you were interested, the list of her 25 books (in the order she read them) follows:

1) "chicken and cat" by sara varon

2) "clara caterpillar" by pamela duncan edwards

3) "honk! the story of a prima swanerina" by pamela duncan edwards

4) "emmeline at the circus" by marjorie priceman

5) "apple pie 4th of july" by janet s. wong

6) "abuela" by arthur dorros

7) "tar beach" by faith ringgold

8) "josefina" by jeanette winter

9) "ballerina" by peter sis

10) "ginger" by charlotte voake

11) "ruby and bubbles" by rosie winstead

12) "imagine a day" by sarah thomson

13) "how high can a dinosaur count?" by valorie fisher

14) "imogene's antlers" by david small

15) "buzz" by janet wong

16) "princess chamomile gets her way" by hiawyn oram

17) "alice the fairy" by david shannon

18) "the heart's language" by lois ann yamanaka

19) "this next new year" by janet s wong

20) "who wants a dragon?" by james mayhew

21) "hula lullaby" by erin eittner kono

22) "daisy comes home" - jan brett

23) "big jimmy's kum kau chinese takeout" - ted lewin

24) "dancing in the kitchen" - wendy gelsanliter & frank christian

25) "fortune cookie fortunes" - grace lin (btw - for those of you who like me are fans of grace lin's books. i just found out, in the course of perusing her site and her blog, that her husband, robert, is not doing very well.

she writes in her last post dated 6/26/07, "I'm sorry to say that Robert is not having the results from his treatments that we hoped for and the written word no longer brings me solace. As Robert's body betrays him, so does the consolation of my blog. So for now, during these hard times, I say goodbye--hoping to find hope in silence."

my heart just about snapped in two when i read her words. please keep grace, robert and their family in your thoughts and prayers. he beat the cancer into remission twice before. i hope and pray he does it again.)


Rachel said...

Wow, that's an impressive list. Thanks. I'm going to look them up at the library.

I am a huge reader too, and like you I've always wanted to pass it on to my daughter. I remember doing those summer reading programs when I was a kid.

I like your "how we met" story. What a great story to tell your kids.

Irene said...

That's an impressive list (and the t-shirt is not too bad either).

Anonymous said...

Fess really fell for me from the get go, being attracted to my mysterious fraternity man ways, my then-full head of hair, and my Miata. Of course, you were also drawn to the mystery of how a man with a Miata who was so neat and had a decided affection for swing dancing and American standards could also be straight.

If I work very hard, I can sometimes conjure up a mometary regret for the lost STP jacket.

te amo mi querida...mi corazon. Can't wait for NY this weekend!

bokumbop said...

Hee hee, I was hoping to hear the thin man's side of the story! It really plays out like a screwball comedy.

Great reading picks. I was also a big time reader growing up, I don't get to do so much anymore (unless you count baby care books). we read to T everyday. One of the things I really look forward to is reading with him, and talking about the themes, too.

SugarMama said...

Wow - a big pat on the back for Paloma!

Also- I love that story about you and the thin man. I swear for a moment there I thought I was watching a romantic comedy movie!

mamazilla said...

rachel - it's pretty cool to look at as a whole list... i thin kwe might just continue this - i figure every five books, she can pick something out at the dollar store.

irene - i like the t-shirt too! i was about to ask why the parents didn't get a shirt too - i mean we did HELP them read the books!

anonymous - ok, i confess...

i thought you were elitist and arrogant for someone with a wardrobe in desperate need of an update.

btw - i saved the patches from my STP jacket and as soon as i find a replacement, im sewing those babies back on. oh yes, indeedy i am.

bokumbop - screwball. hmm, how apropo. ;) pc loves books too, but it will be SO nice to graduate beyond baby's first board books.

sugarmama - thanks! yeah, we provide comic relief for most of our friends. ;)


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