Tired of Goodnight Moon?
My husband hates The Sound of Music.
I’ve tried for years to explain to him that it’s a musical theater classic, and Julie Andrews actually gives a great performance, but he persists in avoiding anything remotely referring to it. Get him to attend a symphony sing-along? Not on your life!
The only thing that started to turn him around was the goofy use of The Sound of Music in the movie Moulin Rouge, where “The Hills are Alive” was sung with a narcoleptic Argentinian and a dwarf dressed as a nun. What can I say? My husband is a little dark.
This is all to point out that some folks don’t respond well to multiple repetitions of a sweet and ordinarily wholesome experience…especially when folks are over-worked and exhausted, as many parents are.
I was recently made aware of several articles about how reading aloud can become a painful experience, starting with “I’m Tired of Reading Out Loud to My Son, O.K.?” by Stephanie V. W. Lucianovic, a beleaguered working mom who finds herself dreading the bedtime read aloud.
As difficult as this is for me to understand, I do have to admit that repetitive readings of Goodnight Moon might not be everyone’s cup of tea. I’ve had teachers who moan about reading The Cat in the Hat one more time, and who can get downright growl-y about Brown Bear, Brown Bear.
I made the assumption that these teachers simply had not found their inner diva, but it may be they are letting the kids choose what to read ALL the time. That could become boring very quickly.
Julie Danielson, blogger at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, wrote a response that furthered the conversation with an article called “Reading Aloud.” I appreciate her questions about how to get word out to parents and teachers about the delightful new books that are available and how to develop a love of reading to children. I hope that our Bringing Books to Life website is doing just that.
I encourage you to check out both articles and read the comments. If nothing else, it will give you ideas about what other options may be out there besides the books that you dread. So, if you’re feeling a little angsty about story time…it appears you are not alone.
Think of my husband’s reaction to The Sound of Music. You may just need to find a book that twists the sugary sweetness of a children’s book into something more interesting…a dwarf dressed as a nun, if you will. Check out our recent entry on Neil Gaiman’s children’s books, which rather fit the bill. (It’s why I’ve always loved Maurice Sendak!) Or enjoy the irreverent humor of author’s like Emily Gravett, Oliver Jeffers, Mo Willems, Jules Feiffer, Mac Barnett or Jon Klassen.
How many times can you enjoy Goodnight Moon, really? (sometimes an infinite number – sometimes only 50)
Branch out with a regular visit to your local library to find new books. Ask a children’s librarian about children’s books that are new, exciting and interesting. Children’s librarians can point you in the right direction. Stay tuned right here to Bringing Books to Life…for more great children’s books to discover.
Got anything to say? Go ahead and leave a comment!
Bringing Books to Life
Bringing Books to Life helps educators and parents find fun and innovative ways to inspire children to read.
Elizabeth Atack, Program Coordinator
Megan Godbey, Adult Literacy Coordinator/GROW facilitator
Klem-Mari Cajigas, Bilingual GROW Project Facilitator