Wednesday, May 13, 2009

18 years of reading, and many more to come

My older daughter Vivian turns 18 today! After a summer of traveling (paid for by her job as a library page), she'll be off to UC Davis in September.

We started her off early (she was just a few weeks old!) with board books, especially Tana Hoban's wonderfully vivid titles. According to Viv's baby book, Red Blue Yellow Shoe was a favorite. During her first year, she loved Byron Barton's Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs, Bill Martin Jr.'s Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Ruth Bornstein's Little Gorilla, Margaret Wise Brown's The Golden Egg Book, and anything by Helen Oxenbury.

We kept reading to her even after she learned to read on her own, but when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was published when Viv was 7, she wanted to read it - and all the following books - by herself. Reading aloud just took too long! From then on, all I had to do was bring home a stack of books from the library, and they'd be squirreled away into Viv's room.

Despite catching Harry Potter fever like every other kid, Vivian never really liked fantasy much. Realistic fiction, historical fiction, and nonfiction have always been her favorite types of books - one childhood favorite was Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Alice series. Currently, she has just finished Sijie Dai's Mr. Muo's Traveling Couch, is in the middle of Curtis Sittenfeld's American Wife, and has a bunch of travel books on hold (for that upcoming trip!).

I'm so proud of her - and so glad that, through good times and bad, she'll always have books.


  1. Happy birthday to Vivien, and congratulations on having raised a reader!

  2. Viv is a good case study in how to raise a reader. Lesson One: be the child and grandchild of librarians.

  3. I just can't believe she's 18...time flies indeed!