reading is fundamental: books for tweens and preschoolers

fear not: i’m in a happy reading state of mind now.

why, you ask? for starters, i’m currently gripped by an apoplectic fear that some toy i might purchase for a birthday or a holiday will end up getting sent back on a slow boat to china. worse still, it might poison a kid. so pick a book. even if it’s a baby book and the kid does chew on it, it hopefully won’t be laden with lead.

there are some who think that some of the books i’d choose poison a kid. i mean, some of these authors, like my fave judy blume, end up on banned books lists year after year. they deal with topics like sex, or drugs, or rock and roll. or maybe a combo of all three. and some parents are so damned threatened by this idea.

now i am not a model parent. BC will be quick to tell you that i curse; i’m a major boohoo; i’m unfair from time to time; and i don’t let her live on reese’s peanut butter cups. but i like to delude myself believe that i have a pretty good relationship with my kids. we talk about lots of things. hell, they bring up stuff waaaay before i’m ready. and i try to answer them as honestly as i can — although believe me, sometimes, the answer is pretty short since they can’t handle the whole truth at times.

and when we read books together, we talk about them. if the characters are freaked out because they don’t fill up a bra yet, that’s fodder. if the characters are frightened by witches, we go there, too. i suspect a day will come when the kids will be smarter than i am, and they’ll start asking questions about nuclear particles and neurotransmitters. i’ll be the one, then, who gets to ask the questions.

but in the meantime, i get to be the smarty. i’m the mommy; that’s why.

so for a week, i’m going to share some of my favorite tween girl books, books that BC and i have enjoyed, sometimes multiple times. i’ll then magically pick a book or two that bridges the gap and that can be enjoyed by a tween girl AND a preschool boy (for those nights when i’m solo parenting and have to kill two birds with one stone. so to speak.) and then, onto preschool goodness. i’ll try to pick some faves as well as some slightly off-beat works.

but know that these are all kid-tested and mom-approved… of course, if you’re the type of mom who has perfect hair, has perfect kids, and is perfectly uncomfortable with anything remotely controversial, then these may not be perfect for you. if, however, you’ve an open mind, well, then. pull up a chair 🙂

read on, macduff.


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