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Mommy's Newest Bookworm

As Maddie progresses to chapter books,
lowering herself deeper into the well of literature, Cora hurtles
headlong down the same path. She’s shown an interest in books
for a long time, but has begun to memorize her favorites and will
request specific books when she decides it’s time for a
snuggle and a read. And it should come as no surprise that her
current favorites have already been well broken-in by
Maddie’s toddler fingers.

In some ways, Cora has different taste in books than Maddie;
we’ve tried a few old favorites of Madeleine’s that
Cora simply isn’t interested in. But there are several places
where their tastes in books overlap, most notably in the animal
kingdom. Specifically, bears.

Maddie’s favorite book as a baby was
target="_blank">Bear Snores On
; her aunt and uncle
gave it to her for Christmas when she was six months old, and I
think I read it a good three hundred times to her. Right around
nine months old, Cora discovered that poor sleepy bear, and
I’m pretty sure I’ve read it another three hundred
since then.

Cora has an absolute favorite part of the book – when the
sleeping bear accidentally inhales a piece of pepper and sneezes
himself awake. If you say to Cora, “Hey, girlie, would you
like to go pick out a book to read and bring it here?”
she’ll go running off in search of her stash. And as likely
as not, she’ll come back shouting, “AAHHHH –
CHOOOOOOOOOOO!” as she runs, a sure sign she’s carrying
that book and already anticipating her favorite spot.
Maddie’s not immune to the book’s charms, either: if
she’s playing in another room and I start acting out the big
sneeze, she’ll drop her toys and come running before reciting
the rest of the book alongside me.

But setting aside the sleeping bear, Cora’s completely in
love with Eric Carle’s bear series. href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FBrown-Bear-What-You-See%2Fdp%2F0805087184%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1224213872%26sr%3D1-1&tag=1mother2anoth-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325"
target="_blank">Brown Bear
, href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FPolar-Bear-What-Henry-Books%2Fdp%2F0805023461%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1224213951%26sr%3D1-1&tag=1mother2anoth-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325"
target="_blank">Polar Bear
, href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FPanda-Bear-What-You-See%2Fdp%2F080508102X%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1224214031%26sr%3D1-1&tag=1mother2anoth-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325"
target="_blank">Panda Bear
– she demands them
all in equal measure, depending on her mood. Sometimes I’ll
lie on the floor with her and she’ll walk up holding Brown
Bear, straddle my tummy, and start bouncing up and down, chanting,
“Bown bear! Bown bear! Bown Bear!” I’ll read the
thing just to stop the physical abuse.

The girls have “libraries” all over the house: they
have two shelves of books in the actual library; a stack of board
books in the living room; another basket of books in the game room;
and shelves of books in each bedroom. And that’s not counting
the “emergency” board book stuck in the diaper bag, or
the one book apiece in the car. Reading is an excellent chance to
go someplace wonderful in the imagination, snuggle with a
fast-growing baby, divert a meltdown, deflect attention from
someone’s leaving (usually mine), and start to slow things
down as it nears nap or bedtime. I’m overjoyed Cora and
Maddie love their books, and cherish the time it gives me with

Well – unless that time includes bouncing on Mommy’s
stomach. That I could do without.


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