Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I am so pleased to bring you this week's guest blogger! Many of you have read and love the books that she mentions and I hope that you will check out her blog after you read her post here.
Christie Burnett is the proud Mum of one very busy toddler, the annoying wife to a very patient husband, a domestic disaster learning to navigate life ‘at home’, and a passionate Early Childhood Teacher. She has worked alongside families in primary school, preschool and childcare settings, presented seminars for educators working with young children, and has had articles published in both child care trade publications and parenting magazines. She blogs at Childhood 101 about all things ‘childhood,’ with the dream to inspire families to create happy, memorable childhoods for their children.
Because of a Book
Children love being read to. As do adults. Especially when the reader conjures the spirit of the story through the use of dramatic effect, assuming the personality of the characters through face and gesture, tone and sound of voice, and we can never underestimate the narrative virtue of a good, long dramatic pause. I distinctly remember a roomful of adults spellbound by a university lecturer reading Martin Waddell’s Farmer Duck as part of my early childhood degree. The most anticipated part of the scholarly week was this particular language tutorial that always began with the reading of a children’s story to encourage us to use books as learning tools capable of unfurling worlds of new possibilities for both reader and listener.
But I digress, the purpose of this tale is to share my childhood memories associated with reading and being read to. I am fortunate to have so many. My mother who read to us daily when we were very young, a child with my Pop and the “Poop, poop,” of toad in The Wind in the Willows, older again and pleading in chorus with my cousins for my Nanna to read us just one more chapter of whichever novel we were currently captivated by.
As a child, I was not the physical, active outdoor type. Instead you would usually find me inside curled up, reading a book. I loved the thrill of ordering new books from the Book Club catalogues my school sent home. Visits to the library were akin to entering Aladdin’s Cave for the treasures contained within, so many choices, so many new worlds to discover.
I remember reading countless Enid Blyton series’; both Amelia Jane and the Naughtiest Girl in School, from the adventures of the Famous Five through those of the Secret Seven. I recall the joy of discovering the “Choose Your Own” format with the excitement of more than one potential ending seemingly offering a voracious reader a story that lasted much longer, a journey that went so much further.
But nothing could eclipse my love as a tween and further into my early teen years for the Trixie Belden series. I could close my eyes and imagine stepping into Trixie’s shoes, living out my life on Crabapple Farm surrounded by mystery and adventure, with a best friend called Honey, and older brothers like Mart and Brian. I dreamed of clandestine meetings as the leader of a secret gang, with a secret whistle which would protect me from the dangers that inevitably awaited.
I collected the whole series of Trixie Belden novels, all thirty nine titles, as much anticipated gifts received for birthdays and Christmases over a number of years. Whatever happened to that collection that I now wish so much that I had kept? It was handed down to my two younger sisters and then passed on to a work colleague of my father’s who had two daughters. I hope they loved them as much as I did and passed them on again. Now, as a mother, I plan on buying the whole series again for my young daughter but I will not wait until she is old enough to appreciate them, instead I will begin to collect them soon so that I can read them all again before I have to share them!
Followers of Write for a Reader may be interested in Christie’s recent post, Growing Kids Who Read.
Originally published from 1948 to 1986, this mystery series starring teenager Trixie Belden is back. In this first installment, Trixie and her best friend, Honey Wheeler, notice something peculiar at the old Frayne mansion and discover a boy sleeping in the abandoned house.
Buy it at Amazon
Buy it at Powell's
Buy it at IndieBound