In this addition to Raising Star Readers, we check in again on a Reading Team that morphs each time we meet them (depending on who’s willing to sit still long enough!). This time around, Connie (Gigi to her grandchildren), is celebrating a reading milestone that will resonate with every book lover. Here’s how Connie describes it:
I brought along several book choices on a recent Colorado visit to my Reading Team: Priya (3 years) and Nikhil (15 months). To my happy surprise, though, Priya had a book to share with me — one she chose from the library. Priya happily brought out Still Stuck, written and illustrated by Shinsuke Yoshitake. And she couldn’t wait to show me her favorite page. She immediately turned to it and began to giggle.
Still Stuck is the story of a young child getting ready for a bath. He gets his shirt stuck trying to pull it over his head. Once the shirt is hopelessly stuck, he imagines what life would be like with a shirt that never gets unstuck. He even imagines meeting another child with a stuck shirt. (This is Priya’s favorite page.)
In a three-year-old’s world, getting dressed and undressed by yourself is, of course, a big deal. Priya showed me that she had recently learned the trusty toddler technique of putting a jacket on without any help, aka “arm-arm-flip it over your head.” No wonder this book resonated so much.
At the end of the story, the child requires a little help from mom to get unstuck, only to face the next dilemma of a stuck pajama top. Which Priya found hysterical. Finding humor in whatever situations befalls us is a good thing — even three-year-olds recognize that life is a never-ending series of getting stuck and unstuck.
As a writer of children’s books, boy could I relate to getting stuck and unstuck, all while being aware there is more “stuck” lurking around the next corner. Thank goodness for friends who can relate to stuck, friends who can help us out of stuck, and friends who can celebrate the joy of unstuck with us!
After several readings of Still Stuck, it was Priya’s bedtime. But first, there was just enough time for her to demonstrate what stuck looks like. And unstuck.
Thank you, Priya, for reminding me of the great pleasure we feel when we discover, all on our own — the perfect book.
P.S. Nikhil just mastered walking/running. He was far too excited about his new-found “unstuckness” to sit down with a book. I plan to help him discover his own perfect book on my next visit.
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.