One of my favorite activities with the kids in the evening is reading books, especially when they are good. Sounds logical but I can’t believe how many library books I bring home that are sub par. I treasure the nights when we are all in our pj’s, cuddled together on the bed: Maria laying down with her head near one leg and Mario snug as a bug against both legs. They interact with me as I read the book and I see their minds expanding right before my eyes.
I ran to the library tonight to return some past due books (why is it so hard to return library books on time?!) and to give me a reason to head a few blocks further north to get a double dip UDF ice cream cone. I didn’t have much time so I just grabbed a handful of books that looked like they may be worthwhile to read. I got some known favorites – Dr. Seuss and Fancy Nancy but then got a few random, unknown ones. The kids got to choose two each when I got home. Maria picked two Fancy Nancy books. Mario picked Dr. Seuss and a brand new one: Otis and the Tornado by Loren Long.
A breath of fresh air. A gem. How couldn’t you fall immediately in love with sweet Otis, the tractor with a huge heart and immense courage? And how couldn’t you feel heavy-hearted for the giant bull “shaking in fear?” I finished the book and breathed deeply. The kids yawned in a state of wonder. When I looked up Loren Long later in the evening, I found out he is from Cincinnati – my hometown. No wonder the book is so good….