Thursday, May 3, 2012

Magic Tree House = Magical Reading Moment

Digging out the mass of books that were piled in my room I happened across our collection of the Magic Tree House series. In a moment of nostalgia I remembered how much Madison had enjoyed them, all the adventures they took us on. I know I had been saving them with Maddox in mind, and wondered if he was ready for this new reading adventure. The moment you change from sight word-picture books, to chapter books is a gigantic reading leap. The transition from using pictures to help bring meaning to the story, to relying solely on your imagination takes a great deal of reading comprehension. Not that he is anywhere close to being able to read the chapter book, but I though he may be ready to exercise his imagination.

Why not give them a try. . .

How fortunate that the first book in the series is about Dinosaurs, every book Maddox has brought home from the library this year has been about Dinosaurs; he was instantly hooked. He loved that we were reading a chapter book, pointing out each new chapter as we read, hanging on my every word. At one point he wanted to see the picture, and I told him that chapter books don't have pictures on every page, that you have to close your eyes and imagine, let the words make a picture in your head. As I continued reading, I glimpse his eager face scrunched up, eyes closed... imagining... "I can see it mom!"

As we drew to the end of our agreed upon 2 chapters, we are left with a cliff hanger... his excitement at wanting to know what happens next oozes out of him, coercing me to read on. Another two chapter later, two chapters filled with exclamations of excitement, surprise, and gasps, I close the book. He cannot contain his eagerness, wanting to read more, when he realizes he won't win another chapter, he offers a compromise of letting him stay up and look at the rest of the pictures to see what might happen, how could I say no.

The next morning he awakes, book in hand in hopes of squeezing another chapter out of me before school. After dinner he brings the book down again, and I agree to read another chapter before the family begins showing up for the party. Then at bed time, the book appears with his huge, toothless grin, begging to finish. What mother could say no to that?

Not me, so we finish our very first chapter book together, and it was every bit of what I hoped. Almost making me come to tears. . . My son is hooked on books, I couldn't be more proud.

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