Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Current Family Reading: Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

Of course, we can't miss this classic in the Read Aloud Marathon, Chez 500Jerk.

We're on Chapter Eight of Charlotte's Web, and Wilbur the pig has mentioned he's afraid of dying--oh, I don't know--maybe 100 times now? Given that I'm also reading The Passage, a grimly fascinating novel about post-apocalyptic America, references to death and dying currently resonate rather strongly with me. But, so far, the kids seem to be enjoying Charlotte's Web and all of its vibrant animal characters.

I remember my mother reading Charlotte's Web to me as a child and how entranced I was with Fern, Charlotte, and Wilbur. Which brings me to this poem:

The Reading Mother
by Strickland Gillilan

I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea.
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth;
"Blackbirds" stowed in the hold beneath.
I had a mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.
I had a mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness lent with his final breath.
I had a mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings-
Stories that stir with an upward touch.
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be --
I had a mother who read to me.

Many thanks, Mom.


Anonymous said...

Oh many thanks 500J. It was really my pleasure to read to you. I learned so many stories that I would have missed otherwise. And you were such a bright listener. I'm sure Wonder Boy and Miss M will remember you reading to them. Reading aloud is a good experience all around. Both the reader and the listener profit by it and as an old song goes, Memories Are Made of This....
Thanks for the wonderful poem too. Here's to Reading!
Love, Mom

AppyLove said...

Thought you might like this if you haven't heard it already. Charlotte's Web is my favorite book of all time.

500Jerk said...

Thank you for the link, Appy. I would have a hard time studying spiders for a year, but am so glad EB White did it. What are some of your favorite children's books that are good read-alouds for me to think about this year? I remember that in addition to Charltte's Web, you also liked Maniac Magee. I've been getting my ideas from The Read-Aloud Handbook, but if you have good memories about a book, let me know!
PS Have you started looking for a warm coat?

500Jerk said...

Oh, Appy,
Senility is fast approaching. You already TOLD me your favorite read-alouds. Many apologies.