On our visit to the library last week, we picked up a broader variety of books: 5 picture books, 2 illustrated chapter books, and Dr. Frankenstein’s Human Body Book. I’m not sure the best way to characterize it. It’s a chapter book (by body part), but the pages are filled with pictures. Over the last week, Catherine has gotten more fickle in her reading. Here’s how it played out.
We couldn’t garner any interest in two of the picture books. She wants the books with least amount of text, and even a princess story had “too much writing.” I found it interesting that with How to Heal a Broken Wing she needed some coaching to understand that she could create/tell the story beyond (or without) the sentence printed on the page. [Is that a product of the learning-to-read environment? Is it because she is such a literalist? Dunno.]
I pulled out one of the chapter books from the rotation and took it back this week. Although it is listed as being for kids 8 to 12, there are some themes that, based on her personality, I don’t think she’s ready for.
Catherine wants “comfort reading.” She wants to go back to the books she knows. I admit that I’m not thrilled, but I’d rather have her pick up a book and read than ask for “more screen time.” She knows some of these books by heart, but we are make sure she is reading-not-reciting by using some strategies. In addition to using her “reading finger” to follow along under words, we have a game where we pick random words on an open 2-page spread. Who can spot (word) the fastest? Are there three words that start with the letter _?” Using familiar books also helps her with fluency and “smoothing out” her reading style.
Last but not least, Catherine claims that she doesn’t want to read chapter books. That said, after we get past the harumph, she will partner read and often wants “one more chapter.” Sharing the reading is a fair compromise, because when she’s not reading aloud, she is following along with the text.
So what did we get at the library this week? Given my (poor) track record, we let her pick more and we cut back on the number of books.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. (Ill. Lois Elhert) – No doubt about it. This is a comfort book for the girl who wants to “roll back to Kindergarten” instead of moving on to second grade.
Know Your Pet: Gerbils by Anna and Michael Sproule – This is our nonfiction selection for the week. Catherine l-o-v-e-s animals.
Pinduli by Jenell Cannon – Dad actually picked this one because he and Catherine both love Stellaluna.
The Princess Knight by Cornelia Funk (Ill. Kerstin Meyer) – It has the magic word in the title. Catherine wanted to read this one before they left the library.
The Runaway Dolls by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin (Ill. Brian Selznick) – This one is actually for me. I placed a hold on it after I saw a review last week. Now, of course, I can’t find the review — and I had even left a comment!
This week we hope to make the process more proactive by mixing in some creative writing. Not book reports, storytelling: creating her own stories with pictures and/or words. It may take the computer to get her motivated and give her a canvas. We’ll have to see.