Tired of Reading?

Scary title, huh!  Remember, this is a blog entitled “Father Knows Books!”  If you have read with us at the site here long enough, then you know we love to read.  We are a family of readers and if you don’t see us with a book or two under our arm at any given moment or activity of the day, something is probably amiss.

But in all honesty, we do get tired.  More specifically, I get tired.  Let me explain – we are reading the wonderful chapter book Ella Enchanted right now.  It is about 230 pages and a little more than 30 chapters…and is one of the most creative and fascinating books I have read in a long time.  I will save the story details for a book review day to be published here this summer, but for now I’ll tell you about the “tired” part.

I started reading the book to the girls at bedtime around the first week in May.  This time of year presents a number of exhausting things that happen during the day. There are end-of-school work and grading projects, musical concerts and choir events, piano recitals, graduation ceremonies, family reunions…and the list goes on and on.  By the time we get to those precious quiet minutes before the lights in our house are dimmed and the pajamas are worn and the teeth are brushed, I am worn out.  There are many nights that the girls don’t even ask me to read because they are worn out as well, or at least they sense my own exhaustion and just kiss me goodnight without a word about books.

When you combine all of that with a chapter book, it often means that we will be reading the same book for weeks or even months because we are moving through it so slowly.  It doesn’t mean the book is not wonderful, it is just means that life has placed a few speed bumps in the road.

So last night, I had nearly given up on finishing the book.  A number of days had passed since we had last read together and I wasn’t sure they were still excited about me reading it to them anymore.

I was wrong!  They were ready and our youngest (age 9) came up with a plan to help me.  She suggested we read in a new location, somewhere in the house that we had not even considered yet, and that we do it before bedtime.  I know it sounds so simple, but for some reason we had made ourselves a rut and were sticking to it like glue and it was simply not working anymore.

Thankfully, our girl had a plan and we implemented it last night.  And guess what?  It worked!  We’re back together and we are reading and laughing and talking together.  We are also enjoying the opportunity to find some great new spots in and around and outside the house to read together (we’ll start keeping a list and post it here very soon).

A simple course correction and the “tired-of-reading” blues are no more.

“Thank goodness,” Father Knows Books said happily!

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Look at this Book! ‘An Extraordinary Egg’

* Every Tuesday we introduce you to a favorite book from our secret book room, and give you a unique “recipe for fun” this week over on our Book Cook page…

 Egg

Today’s great book:  An Extraordinary Egg by Leo Lionni (1994, Alfred Knopf Inc.)

Time to Read: short and sweet; bedtime; when you need a good laugh

Summary: from the inside cover…”For three frogs, an ordinary day on Pebble Island becomes extraordinary when one of them discovers a beautiful white egg.  Although they’ve never seen a chicken egg, they’re sure that’s what it is.  So, when the egg hatches and out crawls a long, green, scaly, four-legged creature, they naturally call it….a chicken!”

Best Quote:  “Alligator!”  said Marilyn.  “What a silly thing to say!”  And the three frogs couldn’t stop laughing.

Our View:  Leo Lionni is a must-have children’s author for your book collection.  He has written many children’s books and all of them are worth gold.  This funny story about three frogs, one egg, a chicken, and an alligator is just right for a quick bedtime story and some wonderful belly laughs!  The artwork is colorful and simple and the case of mistaken identity that fuels the plot of this great book will really surprise you.

Remember to visit our Book Cook page for the recipe – “Alligator Baby” – created by the kids to accompany this particular book.