Raising Star Readers is delighted to introduce a new Reading Team centered around YA author and Wisconsin resident Ann Angel. Ann says: “One of my greatest pleasures as a grandparent is sharing a book with my grandkids that was a favorite with my kids when they were growing up. Another great pleasure is seeing my grown kids pull out a book they loved and read to it their children with the knowledge that they’re sharing a great love of story and reading.
“Recently I witnessed my youngest daughter Stevi reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle to her son Teddy. It’s a favorite of his, just as it was with Stevi. Teddy even has the book memorized. He delights in naming the foods the caterpillar gobbles down, suggesting he can share an apple, or strawberry, or piece of chocolate cake with the caterpillar. He groans when the caterpillar wakes with a stomachache and cheers for the lovely butterfly that emerges at the end.
“Watching Teddy say the words along with his mom made me recall another favorite of all four of my kids. So I purchased copies of The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree by Stan and Jan Berenstain as a first day of kindergarten gift for Teddy and his cousins, Andrew and Emma. It didn’t take long for all three to recognize the repetition of ‘Three little bears. One with a light. One with a stick. One with a rope.’ They love it when the bears lose their props and develop the shivers. When my kids were growing up, we wore out this particular book as well as at least two audio cassettes that included spooky sound effects.
“But the greatest shared experience we all have of this book is that, throughout high school, college, and now as adults, my kids pull into the garage to our house and their homes and almost always repeat the final page of the book: ‘Home again. Safe at last.’
“That phrase has become a shared three-generational experience now that Teddy, Andrew, and Emma have begun saying ‘Home again. Safe at last,’ when they reach their homes after a day of school or playdates. Of course, we had to find the spooky old sound effects and discovered a version of the cassette tape on YouTube. My entire family recently listened to this while reminiscing about other books that are shared by our three generations.”
Bookology is always looking for new Reading Teams to help us celebrate the joys of reading aloud together. Contact Lisa Bullard for further information if you’re interested in participating.