When Kalina visited this summer I got out my “antique” collection to share with her. I just couldn’t let her grow up and not know about Ping or Sylvester or Sal. The world has changed, but Kalina and I delighted/devoured/enjoyed/savored/appreciated the books as if it time had stopped. Reading these books was like giving her a little bit of my life.
The funny thing is that as I was reading the books I looked at them through my “standard” lenses. I didn’t realize when I read Morris the Moose books that I was introducing double meanings of words. Chicken Soup with Rice was perfect for phonological awareness and Ping showed what life is like on the Yangtze River. We counted the dogs in Madeline, Sylvester was exploding with vocabulary, and we recalled the sequence of events in The Mitten. It is true that you can still teach children everything with a good book. But, I didn’t have to TEACH Kalina with the books – she just learned in a natural and meaningful way.