Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Secret Garden

That's the book Sicily and I are reading right now. It's one of my favorites from when I was little, and reading it to her is almost like reading it all over again for the first time. I love reading her chapter books - it's like torture leaving her hanging night after night. "One more chapter please" she begs, and I just smile. "Not on a school night."

It's kind of tough picking up the Yorkshire accent of the maid Martha - it took me a few chapters to get it right. I just took over Sicily's reading time after spending a couple of months with John. It was so much fun discovering Skippyjon Jones - my mom told me about this children's series over a year ago and I just ordered them a few months ago from the school book order form that came home one night in Sicily's folder. I love jumping from the deep Southern twang of the mama Siamese (Mama Junebug Jones) to the Mexican gang accents in Skippyjon's make believe (or is it?) Chihuahua world in his closet. Such fun little songs and rhymes - and nothing makes John laugh more than my Spanish accent. I can just read him Spanish picture books and he collapses into a fit of giggles. His favorite is "the radish," from a food picture book - Mi Comida. He can't wait until I get to that page - he points to the picture excitedly and asks, "Mama, what is that?"

"What is it in English, John?"

"A radish. Now your turn. What is it in Spanish mom?"

I hesitate for maximum effect, then belt out with as much Spanish flair as I can manage, "El Rabano!!"

Laughing ensues. All I have to do to turn a churlish breakfast mood around in the morning is yell, "El Rabano!" and he can't help but laugh. Sicily rolls her eyes. "Why is that so funny?"

Well, it's me. Trying for a Spanish accent. Pretty comical.

One of my favorite holiday moments was watching The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe with the kids - I got giant goose bumps when the youngest girl entered the snow-covered forest from the back of the wardrobe for the first time, because it reminded me of reading the book when I was little. Took me back to that moment of wondrous discovery. Sicily found the book in her closet the other night, and made me promise to read it after The Secret Garden. I can't wait. Now back to my book.

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