Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Reading Hour

It is the National Year of Reading, and yesterday was The Reading Hour, officially between 6 and 7pm.  I confess to a slightly earlier program due to a clash with Gardening Australia (a little sad but it was a particularly good show). The organisers are clearly not parents - isn't everyone with small children eating dinner then (if they're not watching gardening shows)?

It actually turned into the reading hour and a half. Such was the exuberance of the book gathering.Some old classics, and some wonderful new ones. 

When it came to Where The Wild Things Are (by Maurice Sendak) I got the children to behave like wild things as we turned the pages, they took to it with such glee that the Big Bowerbird said, "mum, what have you done?". The middle Bowerbird adores this book, cried in the movie and read it to us with great passion. Glad to unleash his inner Wild.

“And now," cried Max, "let the wild rumpus start!” 

“And the wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws.” 

 “And Max, the king of all wild things, was lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all.” 

 “And [he] sailed back over a year

and in and out of weeks

and through a day 
and into the night of his very own room
where he found his supper waiting for him
and it was still hot” 

All quotes from Where The Wild Things are by Maurice Sendak

Illustration: Frank Maiorana.
Illustration: Frank Maiorana. Source
Thornton McCarnish wrote a great article in todays Age There be dragons... and also Gruffalos on the joy of reading to children and the ability of an illustration to transport you to your childhood. "For the grown-up, there's a Zen-like quality to the experience of slowing down to the child's absorbed tempo and taking the time to ponder what you see." "Even after 10 years of high-rotation exposure to Where the Wild Things Are, the image of Max at the prow of his magic boat, eyes closed, still has a deep, remembered quality for me, like a faded photo discovered at the bottom of an old shoebox".

Read more:

Check out this wonderful place to read a book, Kathy Holowko's reading pod, it's lined with old books and encyclopaedias.

I really enjoyed the reading hour, to set time aside in a big chunk to read lots of books, I think it might become a regular thing.

Weekly Kids Co-op


  1. I love when we bring new library books home.... Our books are feeling so tired at the moment... read so many times. I'm thinking a book swap morning tea could be fun!

    1. That does sound fun although I'd find it hard to let go of the favourites, and there are many favourites. The opshops are a great source for new books, I always treat the kids to one when I go.

  2. Adorable little wild things :-)

    1. Their inner wild is certainly something to behold! Such passion for it.

  3. I can't live without books, so I made reading a big part of my children's lives. We used rainy days, bedtimes and any time we weren't outside, actually even at times then, to read. I love how your children acted out Where the wild things are, that book is such a classic and hopefully will live on forever. I picked up a book that my grandkids love it's called The Haunted Hamburger. The story is about two little ghosts who don't want to go to sleep so their ghost dad tells them three stories. They are only scary to the ghost children but have us cracking up.

    1. such an unlikely title for a good book, will keep an eye out for it! I agree, books are such a wondrous invention.

  4. This is so wonderful, everything from the reading to your adorable little beasts acting out the book.


    1. Thankyou, I always enjoy watching your little girls romps.


In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
Margaret Atwood

“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
"Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young