"To the world you may be one person...but to one person you may be the world..."

About Me

I grew up in a village of 500 people and now live in a beach town of 10 000. Wife to Jeff, Mama to Makenna and Jack. This is my place to share what's up with us, and the place where I sometimes need to pour my heart out about the not so sunshiney moments. This is my happy place. Thanks for stopping by :) Copyright 2012 by Melissa Wormington, that no part of this blog may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, without permission from the publisher.
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The Wormingtons

The Wormingtons
Jeff, Makenna, Jack and Melissa. Spring 2012. Photo credit: Tricia Denomme/Hope Photography

Friday, January 7, 2011

Worth Reading...Where to begin?

I'm seeing a lot of blog posts with a "Goals for the Upcoming year" theme to them. Some of those include "Books I plan to read this year".

Ahhhh reading...reading for pleasure...remember what that was like, fellow parents?

Me neither.
But after seeing more than a few blogs with this theme I got to thinking, and reading the reviews of these books they were somehow going to find time to read. One book piqued my interest, Honey for a Child's Heart. This book discusses how to choose good books for your children.

I love reading, especially reading to children. My favourite book on the importance of reading to children, is Reading Magic, by Mem Fox, which I have discussed here before.

Honey for a Child's Heart isn't available at my local library, but my friend offered me a book called 501 Must Read Books, which has in it a section on children's literature. Stories that, according to this book, every child should read or have read to them, as they are classics and often share timeless life lessons. Quite a few of them are books I read throughout my childhood and I found myself saying "Oh yeah, Makenna would love that book!" Or, "Yes, I definitely want to read that to Makenna" over and over again.

Included on the list were "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory", "Alice and Wonderland", "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe", "Peter Pan", "Dr Doolittle", "Winnie The Pooh", "The tale of Peter Rabbit" and "To think that I saw it on Mulberry Street", which are all books that we own. Makenna knows all of these stories very well, and loves them, with the exception of Winnie The Pooh. She brought Peter Pan home from the library last week and has insisted on it every night since. She asks for the others over and over again, and at the young age of 6 they have already left impressions on her.

Other recommendations include 8 Fairy Tales written by Charles Perrault; Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Tom Thumb, Puss and Boots, Riquet of the Tuft, Bluebeard, The Fairies and Little Red Riding Hood...some of which we are very familiar with in this house, some of which we have never heard of. Then there are the Fairy Tales written by Hans Christian Andersen like The Little Mermaid (which everyone in this house has memorized), The Ugly Duckling, The Princess and the Pea and Thumbelina...and more classics by The Brothers Grimm; Rumpelstiltskin, Snow White and Rapunzel. Many of these stories, or updated, gentler versions of them are in our house as well. And of course we own many of them on VHS or DVD. I just bought Makenna a book of Classic Stories for Christmas, which includes Little Red Riding Hood, The Ugly Duckling and The Little Red Hen, among others.

This book also recommends books that I fully intend to read to Makenna once she is a bit older, like Anne of Green Gables and Little Women, (two of my all time favourite books that are waiting patiently in my Hope Chest to be re-discovered), as well as The Secret Garden, A Wrinkle in Time, Heidi and Black Beauty.

Don't forget Where the Wild Things are, Pinocchio, The Wizard of Oz, Pipi Longstocking and Mary Poppins.

The Harry Potter Series is also on the list.

Whew! What a collection huh? With all those titles, are you remembering some great books from your past? That's not even the complete list of recommended reading. There are many others in the Children's Lit section of 501 Must Read Books that I have never heard of, but after reading their reviews am interested in.

Makenna and I went to see Peter Pan this past summer at Stratford Festival Theatre. I plan to take her to see The Wizard of Oz next December at St Jacob's Country Playhouse, where we saw Cinderella a couple of years ago. There is a Little Mermaid Broadway Musical and if it ever comes to Ontario, we are there. I enjoy taking Makenna to these live shows to see the stories come to life, but for me, and I hope for her, the best versions will always be those that we read, together or alone, curled up under a blanket.
Reading Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

I can still remember clearly the Easter that I received my Alice and Wonderland novel. I still have it, after finding it in My Aunti Di's laundry room a few years ago and now it sits on Makenna's bookshelf, already having been read a few times. I remember reading Little Women over and over again when I was a teenager. Every time I was purging, I could never part with that book, so now it is safe in my Hope Chest. My grandma just loves Anne of Green Gables and gave me the book as soon as she thought I was ready to read it. Did you know that "To think that I saw it on Mulberry Street" was the first story Dr Seuss published? The year was 1937. I found it at a Yard Sale when Makenna was just a toddler. I didn't realize that it held a place of honour in children's literature, but now that I do, I will hold on to it for years as well. I remember reading Heidi as a young girl, soaking up the imaginable world of Charlie Bucket so much that I could almost taste the chocolate he savoured and marvelling at how a Princess could detect a pea under so many mattresses. Many stories listed in this blog kept me thinking long after I was done reading them and left impressions on me that I still carry today.

I'm one of those people that can read a novel in a few hours or a few days. If I am right into it I have a really hard time putting it down. I sit down to read "just one chapter"and when I finally look up, hours have gone by. I have been like that for as long as I can remember, but with two young children and a busy life it doesn't happen very often right now. I hope that at least one of my children will be like that as well as there are so many wonderful books out there, so many great stories to get lost in, and learn from.

Makenna brought home her book order forms earlier this week and in it Charlotte's Web is available for $3.99. $3.99!! It was also one of those listed as a book every child should be exposed to. We don't have that book, but I think I can spare $'s a classic right? One of my friends once said she would never turn down her child's request to buy him a book. I agree with that line of thinking.

So tell me...which books were your childhood favourites? Which ones are you looking forward to sharing with your children?