However, recently Miss Pink has interrupted my reading time with a request I can't resist. She wants me to read to her. Now, I've always read to her since she was old enough to
So I am conscripted into reading chapter books to her. She knows I almost never say no to reading. We worked our way through a bunch of books about fairies and horses this summer (and also one called The Anybodies, which was written for, oh probably the 10-12 year-old age group, but Miss P had no trouble understanding it. The author imitates Lemony Snicket's self-referential commentary not very successfully, but the actual story is fun and suspenseful; I wanted to read ahead when Miss P was asleep, but restrained myself.)
So being a teacher and unable to help myself, I thought she might like reading The Secret Garden and then watching the movie together. She loves gardens and animals, after all. She said yes and we began. The first half of the book intrigued her, but I noticed that the last few days she had stopped asking me to read it. We read other books, and I realized she was probably growing tired of the more challenging book.
I still love The Secret Garden, but as I read I noticed how many words, expressions, and the setting itself were old-fashioned and foreign to a six-year-old in 2009. We tried The Borrowers because she loved all the Littles books, but The Borrowers was even more full of things she'd never seen or even heard of, and as wordy as a Victorian novel. Last night after finishing a chapter, she whispered to me as if she were afraid of hurting my feelings, "Mom, I don't really like The Borrowers because it's from the old days. Or even The Secret Garden. I mean, I like it, but..."
"I understand," I said. "I hope you will give The Secret Garden another try when you are older, though."
"I will," she said, snuggling down under her covers. "Maybe when I'm eight."
I'll take it. Where was that pigeon book again?