Friday, August 01, 2003

Reading to Invisible Scooby

I've been feeling a little bad about reading to my son this summer. Not that I don't love the time we spend curled up with a book together, or think that listening to a parent read has no value to a child. It's just that he's a good reader in his own right, and I like for him to exercise that skill, too.

But the book we've spent the past month or more on, "There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom" by Louis Sachar, was one he preferred to hear the first time through. I know it wasn't beyond his sight reading level; the chapters were short, like he likes them, and the print wasn't tiny. But it's almost as though he was so interested in the subject matter -- about a boy so unpopular in school that his only friends are little toy make-believe animals he relates to in his room -- that he didn't want to have to waste attention on the mechanics of reading. Sometimes, you have to let art wash over you.

When we finally finished the book earlier this week, he grabbed it from me rather than letting me put it back on the shelf. I let him take it to his room, although the clutter quotient in that smallish space is awfully high, and was rewarded with the sound of him reading it for himself -- to his own make-believe friend. In his case, it's the much-loved Invisible Scooby-Doo who's getting to hear his master's deft, emotionally rich interpretation of the text. One day, I hope he'll read like that to me. But for now, I'm glad he lets me read to him. (Next up: Judy Blume's "Freckle Juice." Should I worry that my son's already asked if he can color his face with Magic Marker?)

No comments: