Words at Play: Revisiting Books | Kids VT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Words at Play: Revisiting Books 

Published September 22, 2015 at 9:00 a.m.

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Children often discover books they want to hear over and over again. Sometimes the book is a classic, like "Curious George" or "Where the Wild Things Are", but just as often an obscure picture book happens to catch a child’s fancy. I encourage parents and caregivers to read these book as requested. Picture books are works of art and nourish children in ways that are difficult to quantify. And repetition is comforting. The book that a child wants to hear again and again speaks directly to their needs at a particular moment in their development. Eventually they will move on to other books.

Even after reading a book many times, there is always something new to discover. In "Goodnight Moon", the mouse moves around the great green room and eventually eats some of the porridge on the table. The clock shows that it is getting later and later as the bunny gets ready for bed. The picture on the wall of the rabbit fishing is from another book by Ruth Brown called "The Runaway Bunny." I thought I had noticed all the important details in "Goodnight Moon," but recently someone pointed out that the little rabbit looks at the things in the room as they are mentioned in the book. For example, when the text says, “Goodnight bears, goodnight chairs,” the bunny looks at the picture of the bears sitting in the chairs. I have read "Goodnight Moon" many, many times, but had never noticed that detail.

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.

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Peter Burns

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