Prima zi nationala a lecturii

De multe ori lucrurile noi sunt privite cu reticenta si neincredere. Sunt respinse sau in cel mai bun caz, doar tolerate. Pentru ca integrarea lor in rutina si in viata de zi cu zi presupune un efort. O iesire din zona de confort, un nou inceput. Temator si nesigur. Ca orice alt inceput. Cui ii place sa simta iar nesiguranta primilor pasi, cand este deja maestru al mersului pe sarma in tot ceea ce face?

Asa s-a intamplat si cu initiativa de a declara ziua de 15 februarie Zi nationala a lecturii. Unele voci au spus ca este prea putin, altele ca demersul este doar unul declarativ. Ca niciodata nu se face primavara cu o singura floare. Doar cu una sigur nu; insa cu una azi, alta maine rasare o pajiste intreaga, minunat de frumoasa!

Cititul ne ofera marea sansa de a invata despre noi, despre lumea din jur si ce a fost inaintea noastra. De a imagina un viitor. De a ne simti conectati intre noi. De a visa. De a zambi.

Citind reusim sa evadam din patratele in care suntem uneori asezati fara voia noastra si unde nu mai incapem atunci cand crestem “mari”. Cititul este calea cea mai sigura spre viata si viitorul pe care ni le imaginam si ni le dorim.

Intr-o tara in care multi adulti nu mai stiu sau nu mai sunt preocupati sa se exprime corect, cititul este o activitate ce ar trebui sa devina obligatorie. De la cele mai fragede varste pana la 99 de ani. Sau chiar si mai incolo.

Copiilor le citim de cand sunt bebelusi, pentru a ii deprinde cu acest obicei. Pentru a se invata cu vocile noastre, cu diferite tonalitati si sunete. Sunt primele experiente din viata lor. Citim in preajma lor pentru ca noi suntem modelele dupa care ei se ghideaza.

Am citit in viata asta cat pentru inca una. De cand am aflat ca vom avea un copil, ii citim fiicei noastre mereu. I-am citit sute de carti si i-am spus sute de povesti. De cateva luni avem onoarea sa ne citeasca si ea. La inceput a citit temator si nesigur, mai apoi cu bucurie si incredere.

In timp ce scriu aceste randuri, din camera cealalta se aude o voce care spune o poveste. Fiica mea citeste cartea pe care a dus-o astazi la scoala pentru activitatea de la ora 11.00. Si zambesc. Dupa ce voi publica articolul acesta, ma duc repede sa imi citeasca si mie cateva pagini, pana termina povestea.

Uneori viata nu este altceva decat o cutie plina cu bomboane de ciocolata si momente de fericire. Tot ce avem de facut este sa deschidem capacul…

Lectura mea de astazi

Autumn art with kids

Autumn is not my favourite season at all…

But I do like the colors it brings in the nature and the smell of cold in the morning. The pies we make and the roasted chesnuts; the walk we get to go on until the winter really setles in. And I love to collect leaves and wild berries and small pieces of wood for our art projects.

Today we decided to use some of the materials we collected in the week-end. We included leaves and berries and wooden dolls in our art. We glued and colored and put together some people …

It was a lot of fun and we sang and laughed alot.

My daughter wants to prepare a small in-house exhibition, for friends and family to see and maybe invest in our work. By now, when I write these lines, the courier was the only person asked if he wants to buy a fall painting with leaves 🙂 He was super confused, but she assured him she wroked hard on it and that is really valuable…

Me, I’m just happy that she knows how to make the most out of everything that she does.

Goodreads Choice Awards 2020 – Picture books category

Two days ago Goodreads announced the winners of the Goodreads Choice Awards 2020. For whose of you who don’t know this, Goodreads is the world’s largest site for book readers and reccomendations. It’s ok if you haven’t heard of it by now, until 5 or 6 years ago I didn’t knew either.

In the “Picture book” category the winner was Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi, author who also won the Nonfiction category this year. The illustration is signed by Ashley Lukashevsky. The book is said to introduce young readers and the grown-ups in their lives to the concepts of power, just society and antiracism. I didn’t bought the book, nor read it. But not because I think racism is not a very toxic poison of our modern society. It is a very toxic one, along with etnic and territorial discrimination, emigration status or disregard of everyone who is not “like us” or within our “class”.

I find the times we live in, most alarmant the life our kids live in, very racist and mean and disrespectful. And, it is in our power, as parents, educators, leaders of all sorts to try and change that. Little by little, action by action and more important, reaction by reaction. If we are with our kids and someone does something innapropriate or disrespectful or mean, we should say or do something. Or at least take our kids aside or later, at home, and explain them what was wrong and how to protect themselves in the future or not tolerate that sort of behaviour. And most important, not imitate it. Because a bully is not born a bully and an aggressor is not born one either. They became like that by repeat exposure to those behaviors.

But let’s get back to our awards…

What I found very interesting among this category nominees was the number of public figures and celebrities who had wrote picture books that were published this year: the Dalai Lama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Dan Brown, Jimmy Kimmel, Kristen Bell, Guns N’Roses. Guns N’Roses guys? Comme on! I really should buy this book because I don’t know if I would ever be able to get to one of their concerts. And also to have a book to present my daughter along with all the Rock and Roll music they wrote over the years. I will also like to read “Grandma’s Garden” by Hillary Rodham Clinton to my daughter, as sort of generational bond between the girls in my family and their gardens: my grandma’s, my mother’s garden and perhaps, someday, my daughter’s garden. Well, she has one already, but is a small indoor one and I don’t think it’s count for a real one…

And, of course, the Dalai Lama book, “The seed of compasion”, it would be an honour to read the teaching of his Holiness.

Until these books will arrived, I bought and read the “Wild symphony” by Dan Brown, with illustration by Susan Batori, the book that came last in the top, with the fewest number of votes. Since The Da Vinci Code was so famous years ago, it was only natural that Dan Brown’s first book for children would be very soon noticed and well promoted. I found the version that was translated in Romanian, our native tongue, so I cannot speak about the quality of the original text. That is all in lyrics, written and recorded on a tape called Synthanimals in 1989 by Brown himself. The book comes along with an app that you can install and listen to the “music” of each animal. The music from the book, that you can hear on the app , was interpretated by Zagreb Festival Orchestra.

The author himself was introduced at an early age to the beauty of music, both his parents being musicians and teachers. And he says that a story can have it’s own music and if you close your eyes you can hear it. And the book and all the animals in it are a sort of a code to help us make the connection between the two arts: words and music. And that maybe, at the end of the book, the kids will be able to hear and noticed the “music” of each animal. And also, every animal in the book has a “secret” wisdom to tell the kids and they try to get them to always look at the things from a different perspective. Because, even in the darkest, scariest place there is a beauty to be found.

In my opinion is a gentile book, with lyrics well written. The illustrations are very nice and the design, made in a Disney’s Lion King type, was realised on Photoshop.

The book leaves you with a sense of joy and brightness after you turn the last page. And the music segments are also remarkable and is a very original idea to actualy “hear” a book in the same time you read it’s words.

I really don’t know why it got so few votes, to me it seems a very good choice to read with the kids, age 3+ ( in my opinion).

If you have read other nominated books, I would be very happy to hear your opion on them.

Wild Symphony, illustrations by Susan Batori
Wild Symphony, illustrations by Susan Batori

Christmas home made decorations

Christmas is my daughter favourite holiday and this year she made it even more magic. She wrote to Santa and told him that she wants a surprise gift this year. He has to surprise her with a magic and secret gift! Well, I can only hope that Santa has a very big imagination and can also read kids minds, because she didn’t told us either what she wants.

Waiting for him, she begun decorating the house. She painted globes and made felt trees and stars. I helped, of course, as much as she needed me to help.

So that is our work so far. Enjoy!

Our Christmas trees
Our stars
Painted globes