Reading and Writing

We’re reading Pinocchio at the moment.  Inside the front cover of copy we’re reading is written, in my mother’s handwriting,

Timothy van Gelder
860 Bridges Ave

so it was mine when I was not much older than Lillian, and we were living at Holsworthy army base – around the time Dad was in Vietnam.  That was about 40 years ago.

Anyway, Pinocchio is timeless.  Lillian seems to be very engaged by it.  Chapters are only 4-5 pages long, and we read a couple each night.  

“Daddy, why is that a chapters book?”

“Well, its quite a long book, so it is broken up into chapters.”

“There’s a chapters book at school.  But its not as long as that book.”

Lillian also loves to hear made-up stories at the moment.  I’ve had to make up a few now.  One is about a little girl who doesn’t want to go to bed, so her parents put her outside.  She wanders into the forest and ends up in the pouch of a mother kangaroo.  Her daddy finds her there.  Another made-up story is about three possums – mummy possum, daddy possum, and baby possum – who need to find a new home.  They end up living in a tree at the Melbourne zoo, and next time we go to the zoo we can visit them there. 

On Sunday Lillian went to her friend Emma’s birthday party, and in her take-away pack was a little booklet for sticking stickers into.  Lillian stuck various stickers in it, then wanted to write her own story.  She started making it up:

“One upona (sic) time, there were three fairies, three butterflies, a possum, a kangaroo, and a mermaid…”

She started writing the story out.  She specified the words but asked me to spell each one for her so she could write it out:  

We didn’t get too far into the story – it takes quite a while and a lot of concentration!

On another note, tonight she was upset that the TV was showing the ABC News (she’d rather watch something else).  So in a very visible act of rebellion, she took one of her books, Pop-up Aesop, which Daddy had brought back from America for her, and started tearing it up.  Periodically she’d look in our direction to see if we were getting upset, or even noticing.  We deliberately ignored her, not wanting to encourage such bad behavior by allowing her to succeed in generating a strong reaction.  So that book is now history, but I doubt she’ll be doing much more book-tearing; there’s no point, it doesn’t seem to have the desired provocative effect.


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