Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Free Falling Into Your Imagination

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I have been trying to get my son to "read" to me but, being the smart little four-year old he is, he stubbornly insists that "books are made of words, and words are made of letters, and I don't know all my letters yet!" I tell him that stories aren't just told with words; they are also told in pictures.

We then went on a picture walk of one of his favorite books, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. We have read this story a bijillion times, so he's very familiar with the plot. When we took our picture walk, I pointed out how the pictures tell the same story that the words do. I though myself rather smart and persuasive, but he still insisted that since the page has words, we need to read the words, not the pictures :-(

Determined, I took my son to the library this morning in search of stories told in pictures and found two spectacular ones: Free Fall, by David Wiesner, and Journey, by Aaron Becker. These books will be part of my Reading Challenges so I will save my thoughts on the books for that blog post.



What I want to share as today's slice is my son's reaction to Free Fall. After convincing him that there were no words in the book, he reluctantly agreed to "read" the pictures with me. Finding a comfy seat to share in the YA section, we slowly meandered through the pages, stopping to talk about each stunningly detailed picture. I asked him what he saw, what caught is eye, and what he thought was happening. With each turn of a page, he became more animated and more engaged in "reading" this story! 

Before I tell you his interpretation, I will share the gist of this story as that of a young boy who falls asleep and embarks on an adventurous dream. Upon finishing our journey, I asked my son why he thought the book was called Free Fall, for which he triumphantly answered, "because he fell into his imagination!" 

As his mom, I know I'm supposed to marvel at everything he says and does (except those things that are not quite marvelous, like emptying his sand-filled shoes on our freshly vacuumed carpet :-)), but I thought his interpretation was rather endearing! It's one of those moments, those slices of life, that I never want to forget :-)

10 comments:

  1. I think wordless picture books are so under-rated and your story shows why. I love your son's explanation. I wish more children would "fall into their imagination!" Hopefully this will lead him to even more "reading" - with or without the words!

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    1. Thanks, Leigh Anne! I used to not care for wordless picture books, but through my experiences with my son, I am finding a love for them! We are headed to the library this morning to hopefully find more :-)

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  2. You need to check out Mercer Mayer's series of A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog. They are delightful wordless books. I love wordless books to engage readers. Even readers who know how to read can practice comprehension skills without worrying about getting the words right. An old one is Deep in the Forest by Brinton Turkle. It's the story of the three bears with a twist. A bear visits a family in stead. Happy reading!

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    1. Great suggestions, Elsie! I will see if they have these at our library :-) Thanks so much for the ideas!

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  3. Your son sounds so bright! His explanation for the title is fantastic! Enjoy wordless picture books, they are so fun.

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    1. Hi Jennie, thank you for your kind words! We are both enjoying these books! One we just checked out is "You Can't Take a Balloon Into the Metropolitan Museum" :-)

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  4. Thanks for sharing you son's thinking! Wordless books are great tools for our youngest readers to lose themselves in and for parents to also keep creative thinking alive! (I do wonder where he got the notion that he needed to know letters first!)

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    1. I'm assuming he learned this from me because when he sees me reading my books, novels, he has asked me how I was reading. I explained to him that letters strung together make words and words strung together make sentences and sentences strung together tell stories. Now, I am trying to help him see that stories can be told in many ways :-) I hadn't even thought to consider why he felt the need to learn his letters first, but this has helped!

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  5. I loved Journey but haven't heard of Free Fall. I will be looking for it on my next trip to the library! I love it when a kid connects with a book. Nice job on "reading' with your son!

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    1. Thanks Sarah! It's definitely been a fruitful journey :-) I've never had the privilege of watching a young child develop literacy because he is my first and I've only ever taught older children!

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