Benjamin has started reading Richard Scarry! OK OK, obviously he's not reading the words himself. But he has definitely taken a liking to Richard Scarry and is captivated by the drawings, JUST LIKE DANIEL WAS when Daniel was his age. ^__^
We discovered Richard Scarry in California in a wee little cosy library in Palo Alto that was nestled in a single storey house surrounded in a residential tree-lined neighbourhood. His books were on display and they caught my eye because the drawings were filled with animals, cars, trucks, trains,.... all the things Daniel loved!
When we returned to Singapore last year, we were delighted to find that Richard Scarry book were sold 2nd hand at Bras Basah Complex. You could also find them at those weird makeshift book stalls that tend to set up outside your neighbourhood NTUC or at funfairs or outside MRT stations. (The books would be like $2-3 per book!).
So, we grab grab grab.
We have now 5 Richard Scarry books which we bought in America and 4 more that we snapped up from local 2nd hand stores/stalls. We also bought the Richard Scarry videos, which my kids love. The songs that are sung are so catchy, Dan knows them all by heart now! I love Richard Scarry because there is a certain wittyness and innocence in his writing. One of my favourite stories from Richard Scarry is the absent-minded Rabbit, who gets stuck in some wet cement because he doesn't look where he's going. People try to push him out and pull him out, but in the end, an excavator comes to the rescue to scoop him out!
In general, Richard Scarry's drawings are just really engaging and captivating. He's got this entire world, called Busytown, and some of my favourite characters are Sergent Murphy, Bananas Gorilla, Huckle & Lowly and Mr Frumble.
Anyway, back to Benjamin. He has taken a definite liking to trains. So, another favourite book of his is "Blue Train, Green Train", a Dr Seuss Beginner's Book featuring Thomas the Tank Engine! He's at that stage where he sees a picture in the book and then he just HAS TO run and get the object he sees and compare it with the picture. So, if I'm reading "Blue Train, Green Train", he'll go and grab the Thomas the Tank Engine from the toy box and then come and point to the picture and point to the train and I'll say, "Yes, Benjamin. Same. See? Same."
And he can do this for objects that are not exactly the same as the picture too. For example, upon seeing a picture of a giraffe in a Richard Scarry book, Ben ran all the way to Dan's room to get his stuffed toy giraffe! Also, when seeing a picture of a caterpillar and hearing Mommy say "caterpillar", Ben ran to Dan's room again to get his stuffed toy caterpillar (which by the way, doesn't really look like a caterpillar!)
I'm really glad Ben is taking a liking to books. From 14 months, we started to include him in our evening bedtime reading sessions with Dan. But, his attention span was the size of a pea and he ended up disrupting the reading sessions by pulling out all the books from the shelves and almost tearing some of them! These days though, thankfully, he's much more able to focus, and more interested too. I do hope to be able to cultivate a good reading habit in Ben too!