IT IS THE FIRST DAY OF SUMMER VACATION! New York is seriously the last state to let kids go. (I did a three minute facebook scan of my news feed to determine this, so it is legit.) But we are now free for 75 days. And by free I mean completing a to-do list a mile long. But amidst all of that accomplishing, I hope to squeeze in some serious laziness and book reading.
In the spirit of summertime and childhood, I give you Sailaway Home by Bruce Degen. (Coincidentally, Bruce Degen also wrote Jamberry, which was Monday's book. He is good with summer themes apparently.)
The other day, a blog I follow had a link to an article about children and reading. It is a great article, so read the whole thing. But I particularly loved this paragraph at the end:
In short, cultivating a young reader requires two, only superficially contradictory, strategies: We need to engage with our children deeply on their own terms, with loving, respectful conversation about things that genuinely interest them. And we need to get out of children's way so that they can discover on their own the enchantment that fuels not only a love of reading, but also a love of life.
And Sailaway Home perfectly encapsulates that entire idea. This is the story of a darling little pig with a gigantic imagination. His mind carries him on all sorts of adventures, all within safe distance of a parent. But that parent, busy with their own things, lets their son have space to imagine without pestering the life (and imagination) out of him with questions and schedules and distractions. Yet when their son comes back from his imaginary adventures, they are right there, ready to hear all about it.
He goes fishing with his dad and brings his boat to float on the water. And suddenly he is on the boat.
Sailaway, sailaway over the foam.
A storm comes up
And then a whale.
But his adventure ends when his dad catches his boat on the hook.
While his mother is gardening, he sets off on another adventure around the garden on his hobby horse.
Encountering rich pirates on the way.
And then comes back to his mother much the richer.
Flying his airplane outside, lifts him to the clouds.
My kids love that rainbow pie.
Setting out for some butterfly/bug collecting.
He becomes teensy to see what it would be like to be bug size.
This kid is pretty independent.
I love the ending.
There's someone to tell if you...