Thursday, July 24, 2008

Classics...literature and children!

I should have seen this coming!

Before Mike left earlier this month, he finished reading J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" to the girls.  While they were immersed in the story, and for a few weeks after, their daily speech was liberally sprinkled with references to adventures, goblins, hobbits, and Smaug the dragon, and they entertained us vastly with their over-the-top version of "Bilbo Baggins, at your service", complete with cowgirl hats and dramatic bows.  Jaela and Macey had it down pat; "Jaela/Macey D., at your service!"  Anya took a little bit different of an approach; "Anya Michal, to your service!"

After Mike left, I was looking for a slightly more "girly" book to read to them, and selected Johanna Spyri's "Heidi".  There is nothing like re-visiting an old friend!  The language is simply beautiful, and there are countless references to hymns and "the Good Lord".  It is refreshing to read aloud the old phrasing and the rich vocabulary, and is an experience I find all too rare these days, both in books and in conversation...and I'm sure that that beautiful, pure old style of language that I'm loving has something to do with the fact that it was first published in 1880.   :)  All three of the girls have loved it, even though I don't hear quite as many references to it as I did with the Hobbit.  But it IS affecting them, in ways they are not even conscious of!

Anya created a "stick on fire" today out of paper.  She drew a stick with a jagged flame on top of it, colored it, and carefully tore it out (since the scissors only come out when mommy can supervise their use!).  She showed it to me, and then warned me to be careful, saying, "I can burn Mom if I want, for I made a fire!"  Answer me this!  How many four-year-olds do YOU know who use "for" instead of "because"?!?  

Ah, you just can't beat classic literature.  Thank you, "Heidi"!