Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Have Baby, Will Read

I am surprised at the amount of reading that is occurring in the Stefanski household. Between bedtime rituals, play time and nap time, there are number of opportunities to introduce the written word to Miss Willa. It is said that verbal communication (especially reading) will increase IQ as well as advance a child's reading skills and because neither Scott or I are inclined to simply narrate our day, we take as much of an opportunity to read out loud as we can. This month, Willa has read everything from the morning paper to Innovation Nation. Here's a quick run down of my favorites:

First Book of Sushi, a hand me down from one of my board members, and my favorite cardboard book to date. Who would not love:

I"ll take yellowtail hamachi and a red maguro slice.
Big, BIG Futomaki has so many grains of rice.


Ikura, squishy salmon roe like dabby dots of jelly.,
salty on my lips and yummy in my belly!

At bedtime (or what Mom and Dad would hope would be bedtime... without much luck), Scott is continuing the epic adventure of the Mysterious Island. This is a family and Maine tradition. We both were read these Wyath illustrated story books -- inspiring perhaps both a love of reading and a love of Wyath (a family of artists and Maine native). Scott began reading the Mysterious Island while Willa was in utero, leading to the instant recognition of his voice and a very nice calming effect.

Thirteen Moons, by Jonathan Frazier, is his first book since Cold Mountain. Its a great story, but nothing as powerful as Cold Mountain. I think what does set the book apart however is Frazier's love of place -- the Southern Appalachians -- and his ability to narrate its beauty. It actually had me missing the South and longing to pack Willa up for some winter camping. The zero and below temperatures, however, dissuaded me quickly.

The Meaning of Night was a Christmas present from Scott and also a great read. Per the editor's note, it is neither fiction nor non-fiction -- or at least, it can't be proven to be either. It is a confession by way of a manuscript found at Cambridge University, part of a collection bequeathed by a noble family of England in the 19th century. The book starts and ends with murders, and in between details the events leading up to both and explores the incidence of fate and coincidence in our crazy world.

Next on the reading list: Global Books a la Dana, the Paper Bag Princess, more of Mysterious Island, and some Amy Tan.