Monday, October 10, 2011

You Don't Have To Take My Word For It...


Two words: Reading Rainbow (RR)

(I KNOW there are a couple of you who know exactly how to "sing" the synthesized da-na-na! up above.)

I didn't spend a lot of time in front of the TV growing up, but did enjoy me some good PBS programming. Top of the list was Reading Rainbow (right behind Sesame Street, Mr Roger's, 3-2-1 Contact, and Square One).

I kinda had a crush on the host. Right after George from The Beatles.

Oh LeVar! Clearly your time on RR was far better than than that show were you wore a spray painted banana clip.

I found a DVD set that magically appeared on Miles and Felix's amazon wish list. Let's hope Santa is adept at And I think that I kinda want the set just as much as Miles and Felix, who in truth, don't want it, and don't have much exposure to LeVar in the first place...

Except for the RR YouTube video I found highlighting the book, Imogene's Antlers.

It was one of those awful Potty moments I had this summer when I plopped both boys down on the cans, and searched on the computer for a video to hold their attention long enough for some sort of miracle pee or poop. We had just been reading Imogene the other day, and I remembered, "Hey! That's totally a RR book...I wonder if they have episodes on YouTube?"

Do.They.Ever. We've only watched part of one with Imogene's Antlers, but that's when I got the idea of searching for a DVD set.

I can easily be swayed into complaining about potty training, early rising, and picky eating...but one thing I LOVE about both of my boys is their book obsession. Miles may not be holding a pencil correctly, or doing much more than some interpretative Jackson Pollack for writing...but his fascination with books grows, and he now asks more and more what certain words "says." (No Miles, you mean what does that say, not says!) He also puts together letters (and numbers) with his bath toys and asks, "What does this says?" It's usually something like "R2D2", so explaining that it isn't an actual word has been difficult. Yesterday, I saw Miles reading to Felix, dragging his finger on the book's text saying, "Felix--this says 'BE QUIET FRANKIE!'"

I haven't had one of those, sign my kid up for Harvard moments in some time, but I was like--WORD! Pre-reading skillz! At least let's look into a Ju-Co next year along with Pre-K!

(That dream was punctured when I met a proud papa at the park this weekend who told me his incredibly cute daughter, who just turned 3, can count to 50, write out her entire name, recite her address, and I think she just got her MENSA membership card. Oh, and she wore underwear. Thank God Miles, in his pull-up, was still sporting his monster black eye and got the entire park's sympathy vote. Felix was, well, Felix, and that proud papa told me with a personality like that, to get him an agent...and then Felix yelled "GO!!!" to the MENSA toddler at the top of the slide and tried to push her down. Ooops.)

So, here is our little quasi Reading Rainbow list of favorite books at the moment. But you don't have to take my word for it... I was hoping to get some cute video of Miles telling me about the stories, but he was slightly uncooperative as you'll suffer through 3 minutes of below. Next time I'll bribe him with Nutella.

Press Here

Miles: I love this book! I just got it from my Mahna, and then bought it for my school to share. It's simple. You press dots and they magically do things like fall to the end of the page or multiple.
Ali: And by magic, he means the sheer changing of a page: when you tap a dot 3 times on one page, and then 3 dots are drawn on page is like wizardry. But seriously, this book is SO much fun. It's the most interactive non-battery operated fun we have had in some time.

The Boy who Wouldn't Swim

Miles: I think it's funny that the boy's name in the book is Eric. In one page, he is so afraid to jump, he curls his toes under the ladder as his moms pry his body off of the edge.
Ali: I'm not a huge fan of this books because it is a tad wordy and contrived, but the idea of overcoming fear is a big one in Miles's life, so I am remaining tolerant of it being in our rotation a lot.

Miles: I've had this book for about a year, and it is still one of my favorites. I can find Graeme in every page, and always have to ask why he is selling tickets. Always.
Ali: I love love this book. Everything about it. There isn't a plot, but it has just amazing illustrations, is a more refined where's waldo, and we are always discovering new things on each page.

The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash

Miles: This is one of my favorite books and Felix's now, too! I love finding Tommy and laughing at the cracked eggs.
Ali: Here is another ode to Reading Rainbow book. It's a really good read, and there is something about Steven Kellogg's illustrations that appeal to me. We have a handful of other Kellogg illustrated books, but they are a little too advanced for Miles right now.

And just because my time is running short, and I'm 2 seconds short of throwing this computer out the window tonight because I cannot upload a video easily, here is a pictorial list of some other favorites on our rotation.

Still on the list, and the book he mentions if you ask what his favorite is:

(Or as Miles calls it" TRYYYYYING to Poop!" Emphasis on the "TRYYYYYING" He is so funny when calls it this.) Poop is funny. Poop is interesting. And did you know a two-humped camel makes a two-humped poop?

The 2 noteworthy elements of this lengthy video.
  1. Our getting Felix to say "Charley Harper." Um, cuteness overload.
  2. Asking Miles to say "You Don't Have to Take My Word For It" at the end. Just like his mom, he is AWFUL at that whole verbatim thing.


  1. First of all, little children are champs at rote learning, especially if it's a topic in which they are interested. Second - talk about impressive - Miles has done his first (of many) book reports! I love the effort that Felix puts forth in saying Charlie "Hah-puhr"!
    Loving books is a wonderful basis for future learning...

  2. And did you tell that Dad that Miles can add and subtract, do a puzzle after seeing it one time, and rhymes as well as some 5 year olds! Should have given him Felix's autograph - it's going to be worth something someday!