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A Still Moment

October 6, 2009

Cuddled up on the couch, my two-year-old boys lean in to me on either side. They point and oooh and aaah at the pictures. Even if I read the same book everyday, the wonder is the same.


Reading right before nap time is one of my favorite parts of the day. One of the few still parts of the day that includes Duncan and Owen, who usually are a whirlwind of activity, unless watching a movie or playing with trains. But we can be still together when we read. Although board books were fun, we now are reading more and more interesting (at least to me) books with beautiful illustrations. Curious George and Beatrix Potter are never-fail standbys. And the gorgeously illustrated The Little Engine That Could is a HUGE hit at our house.


Right now they are also particularly intrigued with the book Bird, Butterfly, Eel by James Prosek. This book teaches in a simple story and lavish illustrations the concept of changing seasons and migration. The boys got so excited yesterday when they saw a Monarch butterfly, just like the one in the book. We stopped and looked at him as he drank deeply from the butterfly bush. I remember finding wonder in wooly caterpillars and butterflies. I’d forgotten. But Duncan and Owen bring the wonder back. I now also look at birds, butterfly, the moon, and marvel.


And so I read aloud to Duncan and Owen, knowing how the power of the voice can open up the world to them. Broaden it. Magnify it. Deepen it. Marveling at the world through the illustrations of an artist, either based in reality or fantasy. Spellbound by a story that captures their hearts and takes them to other places and times. I hope they enjoy this still moment. I do.

Just my contribution to Tuesdays Unwrapped with Chatting at the Sky . . .

7 Comments leave one →
  1. October 6, 2009 3:16 pm

    LOVE it.

    Isn’t reading the best?!

    I gotta tell you though, for whatever reason, I don’t like that book, The Little Engine that Could. We have a copy and I LOATHE reading it for some reason.

    ANYWAY, the Bird, Butterfly, Eel book looks FUN, and I will have to check that one out…you should frame that last picture, that’d be cool on the wall!

  2. October 6, 2009 3:20 pm

    Funny, Anne, because I actually don’t like reading “The Little Engine That Could” either! It’s rather monotonous, I think. But maybe that’s why they like it? But the illustrations in the edition I linked too are beautiful, so I don’t mind as much. And my boys just LOVE it because they’re all into trains and interrupt me the whole time and talk the pictures!

  3. October 6, 2009 3:21 pm

    awh – wish I could get mine to sit still for a book! She’s got so many ideas about the next one, and the next one, and the next one…

  4. October 6, 2009 7:13 pm

    I adore children’s literature and reading aloud to children. One of my favorite things to do as a teacher. I’ll have to check that book out! Looks like it would work well with a science unit, and the illustrations are gorgeous!

  5. October 7, 2009 11:37 am

    Those book illustrations are just beautiful…and your words and observations are, too. I love, love, love reading to my kids…I think, selfishly, it’s my way of slowing myself down, too. And sometimes (all the time!) I’m just too tired for boy rough-and-tumble play, so reading to them is an activity that makes us all happy.

    I checked out your work on UnGrind, too — nicely done!

    Plus I love that Anne Lamott quote on your blog — she is so amazing (I am going to see her at a Faith and Writing seminar this weekend — can’t wait!!).

  6. October 13, 2009 11:13 am

    i can’t stand repetitive books either!!!! i hate them! blah, blah, it’s good for my kids… 🙂 i don’t have to like it! 🙂

    we have the same routines with books here- and i LOVE your photos of the illustrations!!! these will be great to look back on one day, too!


  7. October 13, 2009 1:01 pm

    Found your blog via the RunAmuck, and I echo your sentiment about “bringing the wonder back.” Truly, one of the great perks of motherhood! Thanks for the nod toward a new caterpillar book. My two year-old is obsessed with caterpillars at the moment, and though I’m sure I should count it an accomplishment that I can recite Eric Carle’s book verbatim, I’m looking for a change…

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