Thursday, July 16, 2009

Read Aloud Thursday - Winne-the-Pooh Edition

Read-Aloud Thursday at Hope Is the Word
Last week was broken up by a certain patriotic holiday and therefore we didn't do much reading aloud, in lieu of party plans and celebrations. But this week we picked our reading back up and had an amazingly fun time!

Ok, I know kids grow and change but, (is it just me or?), it's always surprising when they shift into a new gear. We've had the Winnie-the Pooh Storybooks for awhile, having inherited them from one of Bookworm1's aunts from when she was a little blonde haired girl. From time to time I've pulled these storybooks out but they have always been too far above his head and he has not been interested in reading them at all. However, this week we found a huge tub of Legos to play with and I suggested that while he was building towers to knock down, I could read him some stories about Pooh. He readily agreed and on a whim I pulled down the Storybooks and asked him which title he'd like to read.

The first book he chose to read was Pooh and Piglet Go Hunting. Now, if you are unfamiliar with these little storybooks, they are basically excerpts of the original Winnie-the-Pooh book, focusing on particular chapters/stories/characters within the Hundred Acre Woods which was created by A.A. Milne. These Storybooks are not Disneyfied in any way. The illustrations (or "decorations") are done by Ernest H. Shephard who illustrated the original works. This is Classic Pooh at his finest.

Now, I must confess, I've never actually read the original Winnie the Pooh stories. Horrid, I know! I was therefore delighted when the little guy gave the "thumbs up" to reading them. I really had so much fun connecting with these stories! Milne is a hoot! I like his sense of humor and his writing style. My son enjoyed hearing new stories about his favorite friends.

In Pooh and Piglet Go Hunting they are walking around the same tree looking at multiple sets of footprints in the snow.

"Oh, Pooh! Do you think it's a-a-a Woozle?"

"It may be," said Pooh. "Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn't. You never can tell with paw-marks."

Of course, the Disney voices of these characters are the ones I hear in my head as I read. Eeyore's gloomy voice must be mimicked as closely as possible when reading Eeyore Has a Birthday. This book is popular for more reasons than just the characters themselves. This book is particularly fun because there is a balloon in it! That was a satisfying storyline to the boy. For me, I enjoyed Eeyore's sarcasm, even if he is a bit down in the mouth about things.

"Why, what's the matter?"

"Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can't all, and some of us don't. That's all there is to it."

"Can't all what?" said Pooh, rubbing his nose."

"Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush."

The nice thing about this particular story of Eeyore is that he eventually is well-pleased with the birthday gifts he receives: an empty pot of honey ("a useful pot to put things in!") and the popped balloon (to put in the useful pot)!

The third book that Bookworm1 selected to read from the set was Kanga and Baby Roo Come to the Forest. I was surprised to read that Kanga was considered a fierce animal. The antics Rabbit, Pooh and Piglet went through to get Kanga to voluntarily leave the forest were rather amusing and I thought Milne played the story out well. I was truly delighted by the varying personalities within the Hundred Acre Wood. This is just really a fun and helpful little series of books which I anticipate will launch us into the "real thing" at some point in the future.

At roughly 20(ish) well-worded pages per book, I was surprised that my son agreed, and even seemed to enjoy, sitting through the whole book. But sit he did and that is due in no small part to the fact that he LOVES Winnie the Pooh. Before he was born I had purchased a gigantic stuffed Pooh. In my mind's eye I saw a little toddler boy running around clutching a huge Pooh. Without sounding too dramatic here, all that I dreamed has come to pass. Pooh is a prominent feature and character in our home. Sometimes he eats at the table with us. Sometimes he watches movies with us. Always he tucks us into bed at night and keeps us company and shares our little world. Bookworm1 talks to Pooh and cares for him as if he is real. He wrestles with him, makes tunnels in blankets and even sword fights with him on occasion! We just really love Pooh! Delving into Milne's original creation is just a blast and I'm lovin' every minute!


morninglight mama said...

Shephard's illustrations are beyond delightful. Piglet's always been my favorite and I think that the original illustration personify him much better than the Disneyfied version!

Your little guy is adorable!!

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Oh, now, this is PRECIOUS! I LOVE the pictures, Carrie!

I, too, discovered Milne this year through reading to my girls. He IS a hoot, isn't he?

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