Thursday, April 12, 2012

'Real Life' Stories Please.

Last weekend I read one of my new favorite books to the boys at bedtime, well it's kind of an old book but it's new to me.  First of all Mercer Mayer is my favorite children's book author/illustrator so when Burgin over at Vintage Books My Kid Loves had the opportunity to interview him and blog about it- I was over the moon!  She had a whole week dedicated to him, it was fantastic.  That week I was introduced to Liza Lou And The Yeller Belly Swamp, (I bought it as soon as I read about it).  

This book is incredible- Mercer Mayer at his finest!  Super great storytelling, mesmerizing illustrations, a clever smart female main character, fancifully terrible swamp creatures, monsters, and spooks... love love love.  My boys love it too.  Back to reading it to them last weekend.  After finishing Bibs (4 year old) piped up, "is that a true story?"  Six year old Snoopy was quick to reply, "no, it's make believe for sure!" well that started the conversation... 

What's real?  What's not?

We talked about it for a while, then they wanted me to read something real, a story that truly happened... so I went to the bookshelf and pulled off The Man Who Walked Between the Towers.  One of my favorite books about a real person and something he really did.  (I've blogged about this one before right here).  Whenever I read this book my boys are always astonished that it's a true story, truth is- it astonishes me too!

They wanted more, so I read The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau.  My sister sent this one to Snoopy for his birthday because of his obsession with all things underwater.  It's a great picture book biography of a very interesting man.

More!  More!  More real life stories!!!  That's what they kept wanting.  I have several stories by James Herriot (if you aren't familiar he was a British Veterinarian and Writer who used many of his experiences to write books) one we read was Oscar, Cat-About-Town.  "This really happened?"  The boys asked.  I told them the author wrote about things that really happened to him, so yes- it's based on real life.

Over the weekend we got several new books from the Easter Bunny, one of which was Mermaid Queen: The Spectacular True Story Of Annette Kellerman, Who Swam Her Way To Fame, Fortune & Swimsuit History!Perfect timing for this book to join our collection.  This is the story of an Australian female swimmer and athlete who helped pave the way for women today.  I wasn't sure the boys would enjoy this one, guess what?  They loved it!

Don't get me wrong.  I LOVE fantasy.  But, there is something really fantastic about reading about real people and real events too.  It's exciting to me that the boys are so interested in biographies right now (they've always been crazy about non-fiction books; we read about fish, ocean life, animals, dinosaurs etc all the time).  When I told my mom about their excitement in this particular genre she suggested I start reading Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I think it may be time for that.

Tell me, do you have any suggestions of more real stories I need to share with my boys?  I would love recommendations from you!

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