Tuesday, December 29, 2009


We did it! All of the books have been unwrapped, as of 6 p.m. yesterday. Stay tuned for talk of the favorites and the ones that fell flat.

I'm working to post more here in 2010 -- one of my new year's resolutions -- and I'm prepping the blog by updating sidebars and such. If a link doesn't work, it's probably something "in progress."

One of the books I gave Felix came with the poster below, which is a pretty accurate visual representation of me this Christmas.

Hope you've all had yourselves a merry little Christmas -- full of the gifts of sharing stories, enjoying words and language, and reading together.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy Book Stacks!

I went overboard with the book stacks this year. Throughout 2009, I collected titles I found that caught my eye at the used book store, in the Scholastic flyers, and at my favorite independent bookshops. And it is so easy to find a rationale for buying a book for a child: Oh, this was a favorite when I was her/his age! Ah, s/he keeps checking this one out from the library; better get our own copy! Wow, this is a children’s classic, and at this price, I can’t pass it up! And heck, I really should throw in some of those just-for-fun titles s/he circles in the book flyers.

As I type, the book stacks remain under the tree, the only unopened gifts, patiently waiting for the kids to put down their Nintento DS gaming systems and delve into their rich and varied contents.

I obviously made them too big. They look intimidating, like homework stacks or research stacks. Or maybe they just look dull, like a-gift-that’s-really-for-mom stacks.

Last year, Skye tore through her book stack, smiling and shouting with glee at each title. Then she called to Felix and commanded he do the same, helping him along the way. He indulged her, sitting back and admiring her indefatigable joy at ripping off all the wrapping for him and announcing each new book as it was revealed.

That wasn’t quite the vision I had for the stacks. I’d thought the kids would leave them for last, and then, at each moment on Christmas Day when they needed a gift-opening fix after steamrolling through the main event, they’d migrate to their book stacks, open one, and then, if the book felt right for the moment, they'd open the gift they found inside and settle into a story. (“Read this, Mom! Please?” my sweet little Felix would command.)

Lovely picture, isn’t it? And maybe that’s what will happen today. There are lots of goodies inside all that wrapping, books I’ve been saving, some for close to a year, peeking at them on the shelf in the closet and looking forward to seeing which covers make their eyes light up the most.

(And yes, I’ll share the stacks with you, too... perhaps a little at a time would be best. For now, you can enjoy last year's book stacks post, in case you missed it.)