Day 35 (Week 5, Day 7)
I pushed myself to make the two pantomime performances on Day 35, following the stomach bug of the previous day, but it wasn't easy - luckily, however, Josh and Xander were staying with their Gran so they were still able to get three books read!
It's great that our family all love reading to the children, as we know that no matter where we stay there'll always be someone who wants to pick up a book and sit down to enjoy an adventure with them. Here's what they read that evening!
1) The Wheels on the Bus - David Ellwand (Author & Illustrator)
This is a sound and action book of the famous nursery rhyme, which Josh and Xander have always loved, and always enjoy when they stay at their Gran's house. It's different from the type of sound book where a normal picture book story is enhanced by getting to press buttons for different sounds at different parts of it, because this literally plays said nursery rhyme over and over again, but with different verses written onto each double-spread. It's a great opportunity therefore to get children excited about a book by using familiarity to draw them in, and using exciting visuals to illustrate what they're singing about.
Gran says: I've always loved hearing them sing along to this, particularly Xander as he's done it from such a young age.
Josh says: The wheels on the bus...
Xander says: ...go round and round!
2) Five Minutes Peace - Jill Murphy (Author & Illustrator)
My mother's favourite book to read to me when I was little, this, because it's something that every parent can identify with strongly! No matter how much you love your children, there's always plenty of occasions where you just wish you could five minutes' uninterrupted peace to take a quick rest and gather yourself ready for whatever high-energy activity you need to take part in next. Sounds like I wasn't particularly good at letting her have five minutes' peace, and neither Josh nor Xander have ever particularly excelled when it comes to this - not that I think any parent would disagree when we say that we don't mind really, because every minute with our children is a minute that we wouldn't want to spend doing anything else!
Though occasionally it would be nice to get to go to the bathroom without having a small army in tow...
Gran says: It's lovely to be able to read the same stories that I read to Chris, when he was Josh and Xander's age, to them now as my grandchildren. Particularly one where I still don't seem to get much peace when they're around!
Josh says: No peace for you, I'll keep you forever!
Xander says: Elephants!
3) How to Babysit a Grandma - Jean Reagan (Author) & Ian Wildish (Illustrator)
It should be pretty obvious why the kids' Gran chose this one! It's a beautifully colourful book with loads going on in every scene, and full of ideas for what children and grandmothers can do together. It's told in a very instructional manner, too, which makes it that little bit different from normal - always nice to see something done a little differently! I'm not sure how many of these things that they all did together while I was at the pantomime, but I know they've always enjoyed reading this one together!
Gran says: How could I resist with a title like that? Though for some reason 'Play at Star Wars' isn't included in the story which makes up a large part of what we have to do when the children come to visit!
Josh says: I love to babysit my Gran.
Xander says: Gran!
So, to summarise Day 35...
I love to hear about the fun that the children have had when they visit relatives, particularly if they've read plenty together! This was the first night that the kids have ever spent away from both my wife and I as it happens, so we were both very glad to know that they enjoyed some excellent stories before bedtime.
Thank you to their Gran for being a part of the Picture Book Challenge and making sure they read three books towards it this evening! Illness has definitely taken its toll on our progress, though we're still ahead of target and I intend to make up some time in the coming weeks!
Loads of books still out there just waiting for us to discover them!