Friday, June 02, 2017

Reading the classics

When I was here at Christmas, the girls were happy to sit on the sofa in front of the fire and work through a pile of picture books with me. Things have changed. Lux is almost seven and has grown out of a diet of Julia Donaldson, Oliver Jeffers and Allan Ahlberg. She now likes being read stories with chapters. Hooray for Beverly Cleary and Ramona.

I don't want to do a hatchet job on Enid Blyton, because her books got me hooked on reading. But even a ten year old family member (who these days prefers to remain anonymous) who'd been given a supposedly updated version of a Blyton book for reading practice, was not impressed. He criticised Blyton for a superfluity of exclamation marks, as well as for various other shortcomings. Well, there is no excuse for anyone to read Blyton now: there are so many better options.

The Ramona books are classics. The first one  - Beezus and Ramona - was amazingly first published in 1955. Lux and I have just finished reading Ramona the Brave (pub. 1975). It is engaging, funny and touching and has not dated one bit. I envy Cleary's writing talent, and I am ridiculously happy we have a pile of Ramona books to read before I go home.

We're not just reading. The list of activities is endless, but I'm way too tired to tell you what they are. And Lux does play video games on an old phone sometimes. Today she taught me how to play Swampy. I enjoyed it and wanted to keep going but after several levels she said: "This level's really hard for you, Sue. You won't understand it at all."

Lux and me

And here is Cece, who has another week before she breaks up, poor thing:

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