Thursday, March 24, 2011

Nighttime Reading

So the Professor came to me late last night and slapped this book down on the table. If I didn't know better, I'd say the dear man had a lump in his throat.

The Secret of Nimh

He and the boy had just finished the last chapter, and he wanted to argue for its rightful place among Hall of Fame Childhood Classics.

Then I asked whether it didn't remind him of Watership Down. Upon which he confessed to never having read that book. Upon which I grabbed it off my shelf of favorites and tossed it at him as one would a gauntlet.

The Professor always does the nighttime reads at our house. Mama's voice gets a little hoarse, and certain traditions belong to Daddy alone. Here are some of the favorites he and the kids have shared over the years, sometimes more than once as each child ripens to readiness for a particular tale.

The Secret of Nimh
The Chronicles of Narnia
Treasures of the Snow
The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again
Little House on the Prairie Treasure Chest
The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
Treasure Island
The Eagle of the Ninth

The Hobbit
The Chronicles of Narnia
The Complete Little House Nine-Book Set
The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
The Fellowship of the Ring and other LOTR
The Eagle of the Ninth (The Roman Britain Trilogy)
Treasure Island
The Railway Children
Treasures of the Snow

- Robertson Davies


Raji P. said...

Such a lovely tradition, daddy reading nightly. Lucky kids and lucky daddy. It beats even a real read-aloud couch :)

Raji P. said...

I brought over hundreds of books from my childhood home - since I always dreamed of wall to wall books at home. I love the look, but after decades I find they are quite faded and yellow. It is easier to read a newer edition from the library than the ones we have at home! This makes me less enthusiastic to buy the "classics" for the kids to keep forever. Thoughts? What do you do?

Tamara said...

I like how the gauntlet was thrown at the person in this case instead of just down--you definitely added some flair by stretching the saying :-) And I loved Watership Down! Please give let us now how they like it (Tim and the kids)!

Tamara said...

i.e. "Please let us know", or "please give us an update."

Hannah said...

@Raji: Yes, our paperbacks tend to yellow with age. We both have tons left over from childhood and college, but they aren't in the greatest shape, which is why I like to buy hardback (at Half Price) when I can. If they're too battered, we replace them (e.g. the Chronicles of Narnia), because we know they'll be read and re-read many times over ...

Of course, I find lots of books at the library, but the nighttime read-alouds often need to be renewed too many times!

Tamara - I'm not sure if Tim will read it to the kids yet, but at least he needs to read it for himself! Although to be fair, I didn't read it myself until a few years ago, which is one of life's great mysteries.

Bethy Lynne said...

This is one of our class books for the Newberry award unit. It's great book for noting how much the main character changes and develops from a shy, timid helpless mouse, to a brave, courageous mother doing what she has to do to save her family. One year I had my students compare and contrast the book with Shadow of a Bull--that's another good about the development of courage.

Martha said...

I miss the nights of reading to my children. We enjoyed "Treasures of the Snow," "Homer Price," and lots of Beverly Cleary's books. Another one they liked was "Caddie Woodlawn."

Ian said...

@Bethy Lynne: I've never read Shadow of the Bull -- thank you for the recommendation!

@Martha: yes! Caddie Woodlawn is great; that's one the kids and I have read together.

Christyn said...

Thanks Hannah for the recommendations. I'm always on the lookout for good read aloud books for our boys. A series we really like at our house for nighttime reading is the Freddy series by Walter R. Brooks. They are about Freddy the talking pig and the adventures that he and his fellow talking farm-mates go on. I.e., Freddy goes to Mars, Freddy Plays Baseball. We found them at our local library...there are at least 10 of them and they really keep the boys attention!