Reading to Jack

Half Magic by Edward Eager

This post over on Wired’s GeekDad blog was very well timed. I am currently reading Half Magic by Edward Eager, a childhood favorite of mine, to Jack. He’s loving it. I wasn’t sure how a book set over 80 years on the past would go over but he gets very upset ever night when it is time to close the book and turn out the light.

I was casting about for what to read him next. We’d just finished Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling. We’re on a schedule with Harry Potter: he gets one book every six months. This is mainly because the later books are too old for him now and we wanted to pace them so he would be old enough by the time he reached them. Sure, we could have just waited to start them altogether, but we couldn’t help ourselves. And it was hard to keep him away from them when Ann and I were both re-reading books 1 through 6 to get ready for book 7 last summer. I couldn’t think of anything to read him and then I rememberd Eager’s books on magic. The problem: where on Earth were they? I told Jack that I’d be right back and to get into bed to wait and then tore downstairs. I checked the collection of paperbacks in the front hallway (moving a pile of catalogs out of the way to get into the cabinet). No dice. I checked the armoire in the living room. Nope. Went into my mother-in-law’s room and pulled out ever box Ann stuffed books into on the shelves (Books in boxes on shelves. Go figure.) No luck. Dejected, I went back up to Jack’s room resigned to reading him one of the many other books there. I told him I was sorry, I couldn’t find the book I wanted to read him and proceeded to look at his shelf and wouldn’t you know it? There they were. On his shelf. In his room. Right in front of my face.

Prior to Azkaban, I read him the complete Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander. More than any other books, these were my all time favorite books. My sister sent Jack a complete collection of hardcover editions (with the old-style covers) and we read through them over the next five or so months (a little at a time).

Meanwhile, my wife has been reading her favorites to him including Watership Down by Richard Adams, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, and is planning on seeing if he’ll like Ann of Green Gables or the Little House on the Prairie books.

Anyone out there have their own favorites we should consider?