読書の冬? Winter, Best Season for Reading?

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「うちの子、本ばかり読んで困るのよ。少しは遊んでくれないかしらねぇ。」

こんな悩みとは全く無縁の私。ところが、ここのところ少し変化が出てきました。

自分が子供の頃あまり本を読まなかった後悔から、ドラゴンには当然たくさん本を読んでほしいと思います。手を変え品を変え、ドラゴンに本を読ませようと試みては空しい思いをしてきましたが、気がつくと、ここ1年くらい続いていることがあります。それは1日15分くらいの親子読書タイム。ドラゴンと私が1章ずつ交互に声を出して読むことから始めました。

最初に選んだのは、少年向けシリーズ「Five Ancestors(5人の先祖)」(著者はJeff Stone)、虎、猿、鶴、蛇、鷹、龍、それぞれの動物のスタイルに秀でたカンフーの達人が、17世紀の中国を悪者から救うという話です。ドラゴンが習っているスタイルと同じカンフー・アクションが満載だし、登場人物が同じくらいの年齢だし、期待してしまうというものです。

全部で7巻の長編(写真には6冊しかありませんが)。最初はかなりのスローペース。1冊読むのに1ヶ月以上はかかったと思います。ところが4冊目を読んでいた頃、信じられないことが起こりました。ドラゴンが先を待てなくなり、自分で続きを読み始めたのです(もちろん黙読で)。最後の3冊はあっという間に一人で読んでしまいました。しかも感情移入してて、目がウルウルになっていたこともありましたよ。

「面白ければ、こうやって自主的に読んでくれるのね〜。」

それからはドラゴンが自分で黙読する本と、私が読んで聞かせる本が別になり、並行する格好になっています。「Five Ancestors」のようにのめり込める本が見つかるだろうかとちょっと心配しましたが、運良く「パーシー・ジャクソンとオリンポスの神々」シリーズに出会えました。人間とギリシャ神話に出てくる神々の間に生まれた子供達の冒険物。シリーズの最初の3冊をグランマにもらったのがきっかけでした。ドラゴンが自分で読み始め、最初はやはりスローペースでしたが、ここに来てはまってます。しめしめ。気がつくともう第3巻が終わりそうになってる! 慌てて図書館に第4、5巻を予約、滑り込みセーフでした(^ ^;)。この調子でいろんな本を読んでくれるといいのですが。

年末の忙しさでちょっと中断している親子読書タイムですが、実は私にとってすごくいい英語の勉強になります。ドラゴンが私の変な発音やアクセントを注意してくれるし。「いやぁ〜、私ってこんなに下手な英語をしゃべってたのね〜。」と今更ながら痛感の日々。次はジャック・ロンドンの「白い牙」に挑戦するつもり。かなり高度な文体にきっと悪戦苦闘するでしょうが、頑張ってみます。

そうそう、私が今寝る前に読んでいるのは「二つの祖国」、再び山崎豊子の小説で、第二次世界大戦を舞台に、日本とアメリカという二つの国の狭間で揺れ動く日系アメリカ人の話。Virgoさん、やっぱ読み応えあるね〜!教えてくれてありがとう!

Winter, Best Season for Reading?

"All my child does is read. I wish he would play even a little."

This is something I never have to worry about. However, things are a bit different these days.

Out of regret that I didn't read much when I was a child, I, of course, hope that dragon will read as many books as possible. I tried all possible means to get him into reading, much of which vainly failed. However, there is one thing that has been going on for about a year; dragon-mommy reading time, a fifteen-minute reading together eachday. First, dragon and I took turns reading aloud one chapter of a book.

What I picked first was a series for young readers called "Five Ancestors" by Jeff Stone. It is a story about Kung Fu masters who save the 17th-century China from a bad guy. Each one has his/her own animal Kung Fu style; tiger, monkey, crane, snake, eagle and dragon. The story is full of Kung Fu action, exactly the same styles as dragon is learning and the characters are about his age. My expectation was obvious.

There are seven volumes (only six of them are in the picture). We got off to a very slow start. I think it took more than a month to finish one book. However, as we were on the fourth book, something unbelievable happened. One day, dragon could not wait to find out what happens next and started reading on his own (silently, of course). The last three books were read all at once solely by dragon. He even got emotionally involved and had teary eyes once.

"If a story is interesting enough, the rest follows voluntarily."

Since then, there have always been two books; one that dragon silently reads by himself and the other that I read to him aloud. I wondered if we would ever encounter a book like "Five Ancestors" that would get him into reading so much. Luckily there was another series, "Percy Jackson & the Olympians," featuring adventures of the children born between human and gods in Greek mythology. My mother-in-law (Grandma) gave him the first three volumes of the series. Dragon started reading it on his own, again rather slowly. Now, his pace is very fast. Good! When I realized he was already on the third book, I hastily made reservations for the last two volumes at the library. They barely made it (^ ^;). I hope he keeps up and starts reading avariety of books.

Although the dragon-mommy reading time is temporarily stopped now due to hectic days toward the end of the year, it gives me a great opportunity to learn English. Dragon also makes corrections of my strange pronunciation and accent. After all these years of studying English, I'm painfully realizing now how bad my speaking is. The next challenge will be "White Fang" by Jack London, an author of highly sophisticated writing. I'm sure it won't be easy for me but will give it a try!

Oh, do not let me forget to mention "Futatsu no Sokoku (Two Homelands)" that I'm reading in bed. It is again by Toyoko Yamasaki and about Japanese-Americans whose minds waver between two countries during the World War II. This is so much well worth reading. Thank you, Virgo-san, for letting me know about this book!!
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by danceofdragon | 2010-12-22 09:09