Thursday, September 29, 2005


Raise a reader day

Here in Ottawa, it's Raise a Reader Day, sponsored by the Ottawa Citizen and other local literacy groups. In our family, I am thrilled that we are having as much success as we are in raising readers. Maybe it's because I'm a literary kind of girl, but I think a love of reading is one of the most important values I can instil in my kids. If it were up to me, Read Anything and Everything would be the 11th commandment. (Or maybe we can replace one of those lesser commandments about not coveting thy neighbour's goodies.)

I love the fact that no matter what other mischief he is up to, I can sit cross-legged on the floor and ask Simon, "Want to read a book?" and he will toddle over and plunk himself uncerimoniously but receptively into my lap. I love that we were in the drug store the other day and as I was listening to the steady stream of babble Simon was spewing, it dawned on me that he was repeating "Mooo - la la la - no no no - oink", which if you have any familiarity with the work of Sandra Boynton you will recognize as a pretty reputable stab at a recitation of Moo Baa La La La, his favourite book. I love the fact that Tristan occassionally attributes dialogue as he plays with his trains. The other day I heard him saying, "'Good day, Thomas' said James. 'Look at my splendid red coat.' 'Good day, James, it's lovely,' said Thomas." He's talking in literary narrative. Be still my heart.

Speaking of books, this week Chapters/Indigo released the results of their summer-long poll readers' choice poll. It doesn't exactly look like the Governor General's short list of fiction. Number one is The Davinci Code, followed by Pride and Prejudice, To Kill a Mockingbird, Gone With the Wind and LOTR Return of the King.


The second half of the top 40 list is a little bit more interesting, and includes the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (a "trilogy in four parts", one of my most favourite tag lines of all times) and CS Lewis' The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I liked this list, because the question was not "what is the best book of all time" but "what is your favourite book of all time." Hard to imagine that so many people would list The Lovely Bones and Angels and Demons among their all-time faves, though. They were good, but not that good!

What's missing? I'm out of time, but tell me what you would add to - or vehemently scribble off of - your list?