Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Continuation of that Thought on Rereading (and Favourites)

There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book.
Marcel Proust

The Little Man has long held Sandra Boynton books in high esteem. Should he be picking the reading for the night, without a doubt, our friend Sandra is going to land herself on the list. Naturally, I encourage and enjoy this, finding Boynton's work to be a welcome break from the usual brain numbing baby fodder (How big is baby? Baby is SO big!). However, at this advanced age in my son's life, I feel that it's time to ensure he is well rounded and that includes the introduction of true classics, such as Where the Wild Things Are. Of course, my sole reason for reading to the Little Man about Max was literary education, not at all that he himself has spent the last two weeks rampaging through the house, destroying my attempts at peace and order, and threatening to eat me up (in general, making mischief of one kind and another). That being said, I really thought that there would be an instantaneous empathic connection between these two Wild Things. We'll see what my attempts at brainwashing do, but so far, the count is Sandra Boynton: 5, Maurice Sendak: 0.75.

Really, I have no one to blame but myself. My favourite books have been read and reread until I can tell you the slightest character details and most obscure facts that have absolutely no relevance to the story but lodged themselves in my mind somewhere between the 4th and 5th reading. Just this week, I reread two books that I have probably read a half dozen times, Beauty by Robin McKinley and The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope. Let me be honest and say that rereading old favourites right now is not coincidental. We just moved this month, and while we are settling in and meeting people and I'm falling in love with our new home already, there is something about disappearing into a familiar world and allowing your soul to rest from all the newness. You reemerge refreshed and ready to attempt life again. 

Even so, I'm not marking down Sendak as a lost cause. I'm just going to continue to make the Little Man read it with me every night until he either A) stops acting like Max or B) starts liking the story or C) uses a full sentence complete with at least one three syllable word to tell me to cease and desist. Until then, I leave you with this fun fact: I once correctly translated an elven passage from The Lord of the Rings completely by memory after only the second reading. And I thought I wasn't a nerd...


  1. I just finished Robin McKinley's "Spindle's End". It was very good and I'd like to pick up "Beauty" the next time I'm at the library. :)

  2. I finally had a chance to read this blogpost. And I don't think I've ever read The Perilous Gard. HMMMM.. . . . need to remedy that in January! Love you and thinking of you and your 2 men often!