Friday, March 29, 2013

guest post: But I Never Learned How to Read

The husband blogs for me again. :) - Alicia

It's the hubs again! The wife hasn't blogged much lately, so here I stand. Or write. Or ramble. Your call. "Why hasn't she blogged recently?" you may ask, take your choice:

1) Her fragile mind has broken, and she currently believes herself to be an elephant in search of a herd.
2) Inspired by The Amazing Race, she is currently in Zimbabwe hunting down Phil Keoghan. 
3) She's decided to spend the rest of her pregnancy in a Michael Jackson inspired sensory deprivation chamber.
4) She's extremely tired and busy.

At least one of the above is totally true.

So, here I am once again! Prepare for a magical journey of self-discovery, enlightenment, and possibly a few lemur-knife-fights.

Or maybe I'll talk about books.

Lemur-knife-fight books.

I have been reading to Grayson since he was about -3 months. I read him The Hobbit through Mama's tummy right about when she hit the 3rd trimester, and never stopped. I read to him every night, and it's one of my favorite times of day... just the two of us, rocking in a chair. Him on my lap, turning pages... It's calm, lovely bond-y time for Daddy & son. Yeah, I hear you out there... "awwwww"... damn right.

For the first year or so it was nothing but Little Golden Books and Disney books and the like, but starting a little after he turned 1, I starting reading one kid's book and a few pages of a real book a night. Generally, G loves it. Sometimes he's not in the mood. Sometimes he just demands stories about lemur-knife-fights. Strange kid.

Some books go over better than others.

So, here we go. Grayson's book list. All the (real) books that I've read him over the past year and a half or so, bit by bit, and how they go over for a tiny child. My review, and G's review. In the order in which I read them.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:

Grayson's Book Review! (with some help from Daddy!)

I hope I get his portion right... It's hard to read his handwriting.

The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien (do I really have to tell you that? Shame on you.)
Daddy says: This was the first book I ever read him (twice). Once in the womb, and his first real book. I love The Hobbit. It's probably the book I've read the most during my life (except maybe The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy), with at least 20 times. Fun trivia fact: I used to be completely fluent in Tolkien's runic language, and did a massive English project in high school where I wrote out Kili's journal, spanning the entire book, all completely in runic. Think I got an A? Hell yeah I got an A.
Grayson says: I love this book! I never wanted Daddy to stop reading it, except maybe during those long, boring descriptions that seemed to go on forever and ever and.... zzzzzz... What? Oh. Hi! I also loved all the funny voices Daddy did when the dwarves and Gandalf and goblins were talking. I give it 2 pacis up.

Socks - Beverly Cleary
Daddy says: My own childhood favorite. The book that I would read to myself when I was sick and stayed home from school. Or when I was fake sick and stayed home from school. I still tear up at the end. For those that don't know it, it's about a cat that has to deal with a new baby in the house.
Grayson Says: Kitty! I love kitties. This book has pictures in it too, and the pictures always have a kitty in them. I liked this book. It was about a kitty, and really, what more do you need? All the best books have kitties, right? War and Peace is about mad  kitties... Les Miserables is about grumpy kitties. See? I give it two kitties up.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - L Frank Baum
Daddy Says: Wow, I've never read the real story before. This is not the movie. It's a neat book, and I enjoyed it. I thought it was a little inappropriate that the wizard turned the cowardly lion into a rug at the end, though...
Grayson Says: Meh. I didn't really get it, though I liked making monkey sounds during all the flying monkey scenes, and man there were a lot of monkey scenes! It had nice pictures in it, and on almost every page, too. Did I mention the monkeys? Two monkeys up!

Odd And The Frost Giants - Neil Gaiman
Daddy Says: I love me some Neil Gaiman. Odd was a cute book, very Gaiman. In case you don't know it, it's about a boy that joins Odin, Thor, and Loki (who are all trapped in animal bodies)  in a quest to save Asgard from a Frost Giant. I'm a sucker for Norse mythology, and this was done very well.
Grayson Says: There were a lot of people talking in this book, which I like. Daddy had to make screeching birdy sounds a lot, which was funny. It was an okay book, but I never asked Daddy to keep reading. One toe up. Which is hard to do.

The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster
Daddy Says: This book was a chore to get through. It's like an English major vomited into a typewriter. No offense to English majors out there. Did you know I'm married to one? She hit me when she proofread this blog. Sure, there are tons of puns (which I love), but not even good ones. It's all just constant wordplay and stretches of usage, and after a chapter or two of reading aloud five characters that constantly yell single words at each other... it's all just too much. No.
Grayson Says: What? I didn't really get this book. Sure, it had a dog that sounded like Jake from Adventure Time, but too many weird words and concepts that I just don't get. Plus Daddy kept muttering things like "well that's offensive," and "wow that's outdated" all the time. There wasn't even a ghost in it. Some phantom. Though I think everyone died in the end... at least that's what Daddy said would make it better. Zero sippies up.

Peter Pan - J.M. Barrie
Daddy Says: Another book that is just so different from what we're familiar with. Ok, maybe not Wizard of Oz different, but MAN Tinker Bell is a bitch. Rather short, but I love the real Hook and Smee. Proper pirate bastards them.
Grayson Says: Lots of talking and kid voices from Daddy, yay! There were fights and pirates (I love pirates) and fairies and pirates and mermaids and pirates and indians (that was what they were called in the book, anyway...) and pirates! The pirates all died in the end, which wasn't good. I wanted the pirates to win. I give it two pirates up.

The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
Daddy Says: Another book that I actually read to him in the womb as well as outside of it. We're currently in the middle of this book, and it's a favorite of mine... Okay, anything Gaiman is pretty much a favorite of mine.
Grayson Says: I like all the old ghosts and characters. There's lots of talking and fun action. And werewolves and vampires and ghosts and pirates and... oh wait, no pirates? Unless they're ghosts. Ghost pirates! Boo! Arrrrr! Booarrrr! Two booarrrr's up!

So what's next? I'm tempted to read him the entire Harry Potter series. Yes, the last book or two are a bit harsh, but I think he'd enjoy them... other than the quidditch  matches, which would be description heavy. It would take a while, too... but I'm not against that. Lord of the Rings would be a bit advanced for a 3 year old, don't you think? Game of Thrones is right up his alley... Or maybe he should watch the show first.

I will read to him has long as he lets me. I don't know how I'm going to juggle reading to G and Evie, but I'll manage. I wonder if someday, when they're old enough, they might gather to me together at night and I can read to the both of them at once. Ah dreams.

I hear you "awwww"ing out there again.

Stop it.

I'm off to read The Hobbit to my wife's belly.

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