Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Charlotte's Web

We have officially shared our first chapter book with Maya!

This is a milestone that has been on the "to do" list all summer, but of course, the longer, darker evenings of fall are a much better fit than the long, lovely summer nights in the backyard.

Charlotte's Web
was a natural choice, given its farm theme, the fact that it was my own favorite early reader, and of course, we had my old copy on hand. Also, we hoped that Charlotte's bittersweet fate would help address some of Maya's ongoing questions about death and dying.

All four-year-old's love asking questions. Maya is most curious about the big ones!

I'm happy to report that Maya fully enjoyed her nightly chapters of the story, often bargaining for extra chapters at nap time. Her favorite scenes (from what I could tell... though I only read half of the chapters), included the ever-snarky Templeton the Rat or the excessively-syllabic goose, both of whom had Maya chuckling out loud.

Maya also weathered its shocking conclusion with considerable compassion and resilience. As we read the last two chapters, Maya teared up, asked a lot of questions, and then re-focused her spidery love on Charlotte's offspring, just as Wilbur did.

Family movie night... Elle wanted to keep playing!

Later, when we watched Julia Roberts portray Charlotte on the silver screen during family movie night, Maya took it a bit harder, but as soon as the tears dried she wanted to see it again. So did I...

It was a good first reading experience, from what I could tell. Her increased enthusiasm for all books was demonstrated yesterday when I cleared off all of my shelves and reorganized the stacks. She went through each one, wanting a detailed description and an age: "When do I get to read this one?"

That's my girl!

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