Sunday, November 27, 2011

Not So Mad After All?

Back in August I bought a (very cheap!) set of 42 Rainbow Magic books for Cherub and complained that it was madness. Quite how the publishers and the several authors writing under the pseudonym of Daisy Meadows have managed to churn out over one hundred books with essentially the same plot (two girls help assorted fairies to thwart Jack Frost and his nasty goblins) is beyond me. Still, I have gritted my teeth and we have just finished book eighteen (plus a few outliers borrowed from the library by a gleeful Cherub - the highlight being her namesake Naomi the Netball Fairy).

And now? Cherub has made a huge jump in the level of the books she wants me to read to her. For the last three weeks we have been chugging slowly through H.E.Marshall's Kings and Things, a slighter retelling of British history than Our Island Story written for younger children, but still running to 400 pages and with a fair amount of unfamiliar historical vocabulary - I dug it out to read about Guy Fawkes for Bonfire Night, but she insisted we should read the rest of the book. She has started wanting me to read poems to her, thanks to the gift of a poetry book from Grandma, and tonight we launched, full of enthusiasm, into Letters from Father Christmas (yay! Tolkien!) and The Jesse Tree by Geraldine McCaughrean. She wants to read, and discuss, and look in detail at pictures, in a way she didn't three months ago when we started the fairy marathon. Tonight it dawned on me that all that listening to chapter books, albeit simple and repetitive ones, has stretched her comprehension and ability to focus, in the same way that becoming engrossed in an easy reader series often kick starts a child into reading more complex material. And yes, the fairies are still top of her bedtime storytime pile, but the pile is now growing in both quantity and quality.

Now the dilemna. The Book People have 21 more Rainbow Magic books on offer, including Naomi the Netball Fairy. Christmas? Should I?

7 comments:

Like sunshine in the home said...

I too have complained at the madness! Lily and I have been reading through Malory Towers. She loves the Rainbow books but I have been a mean ol' Mummy and refused to read them to her, so she reads them to herself. Perhaps I should have given in and read them to her! :)

Nancy Piccione said...

Thank you for the reminder about Letters from Father Christmas! I just downloaded the Kindle e-book version.

In the US, we have the Magic Tree House books, which are death to read aloud, as they are so formulaic, but kids just love them as they begin to learn to read. I think they are worthwhile having, but maybe not to own?

The Bookworm said...

Oh yes! We have a few of the Magic Tree House books and I agree, definitely death to read aloud!

I could live with Malory Towers or Famous Five. Come to think of it though, my eldest at this age had me reading endless Secret Seven which also get pretty boring and repetitive. It will be a happy day when Cherub is able to read the Fairy books to herself! As it is, I have tonight's exciting instalment to look forward to. Jack Frost has stolen Santa's sleigh.

PixieMum said...

I would buy the Rainbow Magic books if they are on special offer, partly for Cherub perhaps to read herself or to have for those occasions when she isn't feeling so well or needs, if I may say so, to regress a little.

Melanie B said...

Bless you, Katherine, I'd be going crazy. These days I don't think my patience would handle anything that inane. It's all I can do to deal with teething infants and toddlers. Fortunately for me Bella cut her teeth on very long Pooh chapters and is very happy with more interesting chapter books. These days our haul from the library includes lots of science books as that's about the only part of our homeschooling plan I'm actually implementing. I need to write about that soon; but I can't seem to find the time. If you buy those books for her I think you probably deserve an award for mother of the year.

Missus Wookie said...

You are nicer thanme. I insisted my precious book money wasn't spent on those the kids bought their own horrible books. Although I think I did buy some magic treehouse in a box set at a remainder store for Christmas. Definitely prefer Tolkein tho'.

The Bookworm said...

I have tended to think the same way, but these were so very cheap - 42 books for £20. I imagined she would want a few read and then get bored of them until she was ready to read them to herself. Not! We have a bit of a fairy obsession going on.