Sunday, February 3, 2008

Children's Authors and Illustrators Week

Well, it's Children's Authors and Illustrators Week. My parents instilled a love of reading in me from an early age. I was reading by age 3 1/2, and within a few years, I was reading my dad's textbooks to him while he rested. I didn't understand what I was reading, but I knew my phonics.

This is my favorite rhyme from my phonics book, I think it's called the Blue Backed Speller (A-Beka). I still have it memorized, years later.


Once there was an elephant,
Who tried to use the telephant -
No! No! I mean an elephone
Who tried to use the telephone -
(Dear me! I am not certain quite
That even now I've got it right.)

Howe'er it was, he got his trunk
Entangled in the telephunk;
The more he tried to get it free,
The louder buzzed the telephee -
(I fear I'd better drop the song
Of elephop and telephong!)

-- Laura E. Richards (1850-1943)

I was home schooled my entire life and have always loved libraries. I spent many hours in the children's room of the Hemet Public Library. As I grew older, my mom would drop us off at the library while she went to one of her client's offices to work for a few hours. Being limited to checking out 10 books was such a struggle. When we finally started visiting the Riverside County Public Library locations, the 30-book limit was so exciting. I would walk out with books stacked to my chin, hoping they would last me until our next library visit. (I read quickly.) I've volunteered at libraries in various capacities and would enjoy doing so again.

I'd like to mention a few of my very favorite children's authors, in honor of this week.

Patricia Beatty - She wrote historical fiction, mainly about California. History was always an enjoyable subject for me, as a great deal of our learning came from historical fiction. I can still tell you exactly where her books were on the library shelf.

Madeleine L'Engle - She passed away recently. I'm sure you've all heard of at least one of her books - A Wrinkle in Time. She wrote many more. I have yet to find all of them in libraries and used book sales, but I have read them over and over and never tire of them.

Roald Dahl - Again, I have read these many times and I'm already building a collection for my future children.

My mother read aloud to us for many years and I plan to read to my kids from an early age. It offers the opportunity to share so much more than what is available to kids if they are only reading to themselves, at their own level. I remember reading a book (either Pollyanna or Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm - can't remember) with my mom and underlining all the words I did not know, then learning about them from the dictionary.

Anyway, long post, but it's a subject near and dear to my heart.


Danna said...

Is it really Children's Authers & Lit week? I loved this post, we sometimes run dry on new books for our family read aloud, thanks for the ideas. The blue speller sounds intresting, I think I read something else on it too maybe I will have to try to get my hands on one. :) I wish I had your back ground with homeschooling experince, it is hard to do things so diffrently than what I had! :)

Danna said...

I used your post in my post and added a couple of my favorite books too! :) It is on my HSing blog! :)

ginalm said...

I remember the poem from when I was young; we had it in some book or other, and it was cutely illustrated and so forth. Anyway, years later, I wanted to revisit it, but didn't know title, author or anything useful about the poem other than there was an elephant using a telephone and it was very, very funny. What a happy seredipity to find it on your blog today! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

BTW, I've "recently" acquired several P. Beatty books-none of which are about California. Yes, I will give them to you, when you are ready for them.
Do you remember hearing about Sis. Hinckley reading to her children, when they were on vacation trips? (Where the Red Fern Grows was one of them.)