Friday, April 24, 2009

Poetry Friday: Reading in Bed

This fun little children's poem captures the delight of nestling in with a good book.

Reading is a chief pleasure around here, and we've had lots of good pleasure floating around lately.

I just read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobeto Ramona for the first time (and by the way, LWW should always be the first read in the series. Ignore those people who tell you to read The Magician's Nephew first. No. Nuh-uh. Don't.) Is there anything like that flash of recognition, that shine in a child's eyes when she hears Aslan, triumphant:

"Yes!" said a great voice behind their backs. "It is more magic!"

He's back! Oh, yes! She couldn't wait, then, to dive into Prince Caspian, which we're now halfway through (alas, the movie ... alas, it is not the book ....) and I foresee the entire series in my near future.

More reading fun with Ramona:

Last night, I sat on the couch, simply existing, until it was time to go pick Anne and Betsy up from an activity. I was exhausted from a busy day. Ramona wanted to "do something" but I had no energy to do anything but exist. I think existing is a lovely thing to do on the couch in the evening. But Ramona suggested a read-aloud with a twist ... she could read to me. I agreed. I could exist and listen at the same time.

She grabbed a Martha book and began to read aloud. Oh, can I tell you how my heart swooned to hear my little sprite read with such expression? To listen to her attempts at a lovely Scottish brogue? Heaven.

Other good stuff: Anne recently had a friend mention the "Wheel of Time" series and wants to look into it (opinions, anyone?)

Betsy can't wait for the new Warriors bookto arrive.

I hope to soon get reviews written up for things I've loved of late:

* Tanita Davis's A la Carte (a truly lovely book for teen girls)

*Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinkingby Malcolm Gladwell

*Mike Aquilina's new book, Angels of God: The Bible, the Church and the Heavenly Hosts

The delight of nestling in.

And, oh, yeah ... I was going to post a poem about it, too, wasn't I? Here it is, and the Poetry Friday round up is being hosted today Under the Covers -- which comfortably dovetails with reading in bed.

Reading in Bed
by Helen H. Moore

Oh, what could be better
Than reading in bed,
Or thinking about
All the books that you've read?

With someone who loves you,
A father, a mother,
A doll, or a pet,
Or a sister or brother,

A grandma, a grandpa,
An uncle, an aunt -
(Can you think of anything better?
I can't!)

While outside the sky
Is all twinkling with light,
From stars that shine down
As we sleep through the night.

Oh, what could be better
Than sleeping in bed,
When the books that you love
Fill the dreams in your head?

(With thanks to the Summa Mamas for leading me to this poem.)


Warren said...

I always explain that the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe must be read first because it was _written_ first.

One sees in it, something lacking from the others, which is whimsy. The series later became more seriously, intentionally allegorical, whereas allegory was one ingredient, mixed liberally with Whimsy (Father Christmas anyone?).

The removal of that whimsy, which was not supportable throughout a whole series of books perhaps, without turning to mere idiocy, was something I think, that lead Lewis to later regret the absurdity of the inclusion of Father Christmas, for what is Christmas without Christ, and how can we make Aslan an emblem of Christ, and also have Christ himself in the story.

Anyways, I love the story, and would defend it, as it stands, even from Lewis himself, if he told me his thoughts on the story's defects.

I read the whole series except the Last Battle, to my two boys and started with LWW.


Melanie B said...

There really is nothing better than reading in bed. I get to do it far too seldom these days. Sophie naps in our room and thus if I nap at all it is in the living room. No reading in bed in the afternoons for me, alas.

Though in the spring reading outside while basking in the sun is almost as nice.

I wholeheartedly agree about LWW. It infuriates me every time I see the series printed wrongly with MN labeled #1. I am so glad I still have my beautiful hardcover set from my childhood that doesn't commit that terrible sin.

I read the Wheel of Time series long ago when I was just out of college. I have almost no memory of it except that even at the time it felt like slogging to get through something that just wasn't worth the effort. Every book felt like a pale imitation of the one before like making too many cups of tea from one tea bag. It's the sort of fantasy that is pretty derivative. Oh goodness I've read so much of that in my life time that I've almost given up on the genre. I felt like I'd read it before in a dozen different versions. At the same time I can't recall anything especially bad about the series, nothing problematic, just that it was humdrum in its mediocrity and offered nothing fresh or exciting to my jaded palate.

Theresa said...

Cute poem.
We finally got our library card and have been immersed in great reading again.Yay! I'm reading aloud Ginger Pye to JBug and it is super-sweet so far. I wish she had more of an interest in reading independantly, but she still struggles so. I keep hoping it'll click soon.
Superboy got tons of books, but could not find the earliest of the Warrior books that Betsy keeps telling him about. And he hates to start a series in the middle, so looks like it'll be inter-library loan for us.
And I agree about LWW being the first Narnia book to read. No doubt about it.

jama said...

I so love this cozy, snuggly post and hearing about Ramona (I love that name; was she named after Miss Quimby)? Yay for reading in bed and reading aloud!!

Karen E. said...

Thanks, Jama -- yes, her blog name is after Miss Quimby, whom I just adore. :-)

Theresa, we all loved Ginger Pye! So sweet and funny. Hope Superboy can find the earlier Warriors books soon. Have you tried inter-library loan?

Melanie, thanks for weighing in on the Wheel of Time series. That would explain why I haven't heard more about it.

And Warren, I agree with all you said -- definitely read what was written first -- that's what I tell my kids, too, and that there's a huge difference in later reading backstory that answers certain questions (and bring a new kind of delight) and thinking that one must read certain things "in order" ... that kind of publishing decision, it seems to me, goes hand in hand with writers who tell instead of show.

Also agree with you about the unevenness of the fantasy throughout the series, but also about loving the book and defending it as it stands. :-) I wouldn't change a thing.

Ladybug Mommy Maria said...


I've never heard the Warrior books - could you enlighten me a little on the series - order of stories?

Thank you!

Karen E. said...

Hi, Maria,

They are fantasy stories about clans of feral cats -- full of battles, etc., though my most sensitive daughter (who read them at about age 12) wasn't bothered by them. The first books in the series are here.You should know that the authors are really into astrology, and there is some star talk in the books, but we have discussed all that, and I haven't found it a problem with these particular fantasy books.