Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Reading Nook

When Kirsten was young she was read to a lot, although I don't remember reading to her before she was about one. This was the time of the Little Golden Book called 'Baby's First Birthday' and the book of nursery rhymes that she in turn reads to Alannah. The LGB proudly proclaims on its cover that it cost 39c. It was back in 1980.

In addition to reading, I would play card games with her, mainly using a pack of 'UNO'. We would sort them into colours. We would sort them into numbers. We would sort them into 'specials'. Then we would play 'Snap'. There were other packs of cards, like the one that took Grandma to market and we had to memorise the things she bought. These were played on a small set of table and chairs, after the lunch had be squared away.

Later, when Alastair was incorporated into the routine, the reading and the games went to after dinner. They could each choose a game and the four of us would play on the living-room floor. It might be Snakes & Ladders or Fiddle-Sticks or Who or eventually Monopoly and Scrabble. After the game, they were allowed two books each and they would sit on the sofa with the choices alternating. Parents alternated night about: reading, or washing up.

Eventually, the games became replaced by homework (at the tender ages of 5 or 6, yes) and the reading altered but continued until they completed primary school (aged 12). Each parent would alternate about children, but with continuity of book. This is where Kirsten became addicted to 'The Pastures of the Blue Crane' and Alastair to 'Goodnight Mister Tom'. From memory these were read whilst lying down on their beds. Then they could have private reading time. Then, lights out!

The books involved in this session between Kirsten and Alannah were: the LGB called 'The Fire Engine Book'; 'Go, dog. Go!' again; and, a board version of the nursery rhyme 'The Owl and the Pussycat' which must be sung. I forgot to tell you that Miss Molly got to listen, too.


Ann said...

Kirsten looks really well. Pastures of the Blue Crane was a favourite of mine as well.

Joan Elizabeth said...

I don't know Pastures of the Blue Crane, you make me want to seek it out.

I love Allanhah's involvement in the story ... very endearing. The photo sequence is what makes it special.

brattcat said...

does this post make me happy? you bet it does...in so many ways!

freefalling said...

I must have had an impoverished childhood coz I'd never even heard of P of the BC til you first mentioned reading it to Kirsten when she was in hosp.
It was a tv series??
With John Hargreaves.
I loved him.
He was Young Ramsay.
And Harold Hopkins - his brother Francis Hopkins owned the jewellery store next to the shop I worked in when I lived in Tmba.

I did however have a fascination with The Diddakoi by Rumer Godden for quite a while and then My Brilliant Career - which was subsequently made into a beautiful film - do you remember the music - Schumanns Kinderszenen - it was one of the first pieces I taught myself on the piano.

I love seeing children read.
Some (not all)of my nieces and nephews don't really love my xmas and bday gifts, coz I always give books. Very boring apparently. Little philistines!