As part of our reading curriculum this year Lydia and I have been reading from chapter books. Actually, I’m reading them aloud and Lydia is listening. Chapter books have been a bit of a struggle with Lydia — she wants to read a book cover to cover in one sitting, so the concept of taking in a story a bit at a time has been foreign to her. We started off with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Tale of Desperaux, Matilda, and Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. She listened well to all of these books, some of them my own childhood favorites, but she still was not enthused about reading.
Last week as we were finishing up the Rats of NIMH, I picked up a book on a whim from the bookstore: Flora & Ulysses. After we were done with NIMH, we started up with our new book, which is about a girl who meets up with a very unique squirrel.
And just like that, Lydia fell in love.
Suddenly we found ourselves reading at a marathon pace whenever we could find the time — morning, evening, we were reading! The story completely captured her.
All too soon the story reached its end. We finished up the last few chapters this morning. Lydia spent the rest of the morning in a languid post-book depression. We colored some pictures from the book and Lydia worked on copying out a poem the squirrel, Ulysses, wrote for Flora.
She changed one thing, though. The original title of the poem is “Words for Flora.” She switched out “Flora” with “Mom.”
It now adorns my fridge.