I have several books lined up in my drafts folder queue, and one of them was Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett. This is one of the three books that are tucked into Lenny’s suitcase. Lenny, if you remember, is the kindergarten class (stuffed) pet who takes turns weekending with each student.
When Lenny came home with F the first time, she was so excited to dress him in his pajamas and read his books to him. It was one of the first times I’ve seen her assume the role of reader on her own, and it was a delight to listen. There are only five words in Orange Pear Apple Bear so it’s not a difficult book to master. But the words move around on every page, and the illustrations do as well. As she turned each page she scanned the pictures first, but then carefully read each word, putting emphasis on the pauses and non-pauses in the rearranged lists. Each page is a surprise, and you have to pay attention to delight in it.
She has all the tools she needs to be a reader, and she will get there in her own time. Her sister devoured books like her body depended upon them for survival – she still deep dives into them, often turning back to the start of a book again as soon as she’s finished up the last page. F prefers to spend her time on the words, and has always preferred poetry to prose. When she’s active in play she’s a whirlwind of motion, which makes it all the sweeter to watch her linger over and delight in the myriad ways that words can create – and recreate – a story.
Yesterday was another example of how much I appreciate this little online community of friends. Adah reminded me that I hadn’t finished this write up when she mentioned this very book in her post on storytime at her own bookstore. And then I read Lauren’s review of this book just before I headed over to the bookstore at lunch to pick up books for the Easter baskets – lucky day, they had one copy left!
P.S. There’s a new Penderwicks book out – The Penderwicks in Spring! (The other Easter basket book – perfect.)
Find these titles at your favorite local independent bookstore. Happy reading!