Books and Destruction: Or the Life of a Young Boy

One of the bonuses of working in children’s publishing is the unlimited access to free books.  Needless to say, once I found out I was pregnant with Jacob, I started gathering books for him to grow into.  I have a collection of board books, picture books, middle-grade and YA novels that have made a great start to our family library.

A lot of the books we have are beyond what Jacob can really understand right now.  Still, I read books at all levels to him—board books, picture books, middle grade novels, and even adult books I’m interested in.  I hear it helps with language development, plus I love to read.  And sharing stories with Jacob is clearly better than simply reading them on my own.

When I was pregnant, a friend jokingly asked me what I was going to do if my kid hated books.  I said s/he was going to have to learn to read, work hard at school, etc., but John and I intend to let our children pursue whatever interests them.  We believe it’s more important that children and teenagers learn to work hard, follow through, and manage their time than that they become award-winning musicians, all-star athletes, or even honor students.

But today that is neither here nor there.  The moral of the story today is that it is yet to be seen whether Jacob really likes to read books; the only thing that’s certain thus far is that he enjoys destroying them.

Dog by Matthew Van Fleet is an excellent book for young kids (so are his books Cat, Heads, Tails, and so on).  A simple, rhyming, and good-to-read-aloud text is accompanied by photos of all sorts of dogs, and every other page has something to touch or make move.  Any of Van Fleet’s books would be great gift for a baby shower, or even a first or second birthday present.  They are chunky and accessible . . . and recommended for ages two and up.  There is good reason for that last bit.

Jacob loves this book.  It’s clear that he’s a big fan of Van Fleet’s work.  However, it seems that some of my critical editorial perspective made its way into his DNA, because Jacob has begun to create his own dog from different elements of the book:

Perhaps this is the work of an abstract artist in the making.

That, or a mad scientist.  Only time will tell.

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