Sunday, May 08, 2011

Creating worlds

The twins' two favourite books right now are Zog and Harold and the Purple Crayon. If given a choice, it would be some Disney Princess' interpretation of a fairy tale or Thomas the Train and his coal carrying exploits.

I was told that I should let them read whatever they want so that it inculcates in them the love for reading. So, because of that, we have tons of Disney and Thomas books. But these are hand me downs. I refuse to pay money for those.

What I am willing to pay money for are books that offer a different take on things. Even for 3 year olds. I discovered Zog in a bookstore one day and decided that it was a good book for Jordan particularly. It had to do with dragons in dragon school and a princess who offered to help Zog out by letting herself be captured by him. She also thought regular princess things like dancing in the castle with pretty frocks were a waste of time and she wanted to be a doctor.
If that's not a message to rival Disney's not so subliminal programming, I don't know what is.

The same for Harold and the Purple Crayon. I was so taken by it because it was about a little boy who drew his own adventure. And when he got into trouble, he drew a solution out of it. I love the idea of the little boy out exploring the world. And when he got himself into a jam like falling off a cliff because he forgot to draw the other side, he drew a hot air balloon to save himself.

The first time I read it to the twins, Evan was particularly puzzled because he couldn't understand how Harold was making it all happen by drawing with his crayon. But in the last week, he has slowly come round to it, telling me to pretend when he gives me fake food and creating stories.

I like that they enjoy these books. I hope that it'll teach them how to come up with their own stories and to realise that no one should tell them what they can or cannot do with their lives.

Tall order?

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