May 23rd, 2014


Arnold Lobel

We have some books by Arnold Lobel that we used to read to Miss Dash when she was tiny. The bulk of those stories are Frog and Toad. If you've never seen these, these are the mildly ridiculous stories of a reasonable frog and a rather unreasonable but earnest Toad. They are early readers written in basic English, which is a version of English containing only the 800 or so most used words.

Arnold Lobel writes stories that make me feel like a rank amateur, while using basic English, and targeted to first graders.

Now that Miss Dash is a first grader, those childhood stories that she has left behind three years ago have taken on new aspects. She now gets the jokes in them. Her sense of humor at this age perfectly matches the sense of humor in the stories. We had so much fun reading the Frog and Toad omnibus that we stayed up way past her bedtime. In the middle of it, she remembered a story that she hasn't heard for four years and requested it. "I want the Christmas story." Yes, such as story exists.

And Arnold Lobel makes me feel like a rank amateur again. He writes wonderfully comedic stories in basic English and makes first graders laugh.

For my daughter, the reading penny has finally dropped. Her reading is now good enough that she finds entertainment in them thar pages. That makes us geeky parents happy as clams and then some. 

The Fig Lives

Earlier this week, I reported on the demise of our fig tree. The winter did it in and did it in good. I tore it down with my bare hands, snapping the branches easily.

Once I had all the branches removed, I noted small fig leaves at the base. Apparently, the roots have survived.

We won't have figs any time soon. That makes me sad. Hopefully the plant comes back better than ever and gives us figs again.