The Beat in My Heart

Sharing my Thoughts with the World!

Harry Potter

How can I write about books during Read Across America week and not mention Harry Potter. This is an amazing set of books that every kid should read. Since I do not need to review the books here, I will write about my experiences with these books. I read them about 4 years ago and I just loved them. I could not put those books down. I cried and laughed with the characters. I have read them about 4 times after that and I am still not bored.

Sarath has now finished the series and is reading it again and again. Every time he reads it, he finds something new that he missed the last time. Me and Sarath have discussions about the books, characters and the plot lines. It feels so good to discuss it with him. I get to see the books from an entirely different perspective.

One more reason I love those books is the fact that I can use the characters to teach Sarath about many things. He is now going through a phase where he does not want to talk to any new kid, or make new friends and has been snapping at anyone and everyone. So, I talked to him and after a long discussion of what he should be doing, I told him “please don’t be a Malfoy”. It lightened the mood and the he got the point instantly. I love it when I can use the book to teach him something.

One of my favorite lines in the series is “It is our choices, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” I talked to Sarath about this before he read the second book and he remembered it when was reading the books. We always go back to this one and keep talking about it. This seems to get the message across in a very easy way and the fact that Dumbledore says it in the book, makes it more interesting to him ๐Ÿ™‚ Initially when he started reading the books, I wasn’t sure if he would understand it at all. Now I know I was wrong. He loves those books.

With all the Harry Potter mania going around in our house, Sanjay is also very excited to read the series. He keeps telling Sarath not to spoil his surprises ๐Ÿ™‚ He just cannot wait to read it.

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Scribbleville

This week is Read Across America week! It is Dr. Suess birthday on March 2nd and this week is celebrated in his honor. I have read a lot of Dr. Suess books to my kids. I so wish I had these books to read when I was little. It inspires kids to read more. If there is one thing I am really proud as a parent so far, it is the love of reading I gave the kids. I read to them diligently when they were babies. It felt silly at first reading to a 6 month old baby. What does he understand? But, I just went along with it. Slowly, it became a routine for us. I loved that time of snuggles and reading. By the time Sarath was 1, he already loved books. I started with Sanjay even before he was 6 months old. He used be on my lap every night when I read to Sarath. He picked up on it too. The kids love to read. There were many comments made about this routine of us reading books to our babies. For once, I did not care and I am so glad for it now ๐Ÿ™‚

So, as part of the Read Across America week, I decided to share some amazing books I have read to them. Here is the first one. Sanjay got this book from his school library and was very excited to read this to me. He wanted to read with me on a weekday morning before going to school. That day luckily we had some extra time, and I sat there with my cup of tea to read this book to him.

Photo courtesy: Amazon.com

The book is about a town where are the people are squiggly with not straight lines at all. Even the houses and animals are squiggly. Then one fine day a person who is all straight comes to the town and builds a house with all straight lines. He is at first seen as the outsider and the people in town do not like him at all. Then a girl from town makes friends with him and gets married and they have kids who are both squiggly and straight.

An amazing book to show kids how to embrace differences between each other. It is rather a very nice way to show that different is not bad after all. We are all people not matter our appearances. I think this book is even more important now in the current political turmoil.

 

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Books that we like

Sarath and Sanjay love books. We go to the library regularly to get books and I let them choose the books they want. Then, I choose some books that I want them to read. Everyday before going to bed, we have reading time. I don’t remember how we introduced reading time for Sarath but, by the time he was 1.5 years, he was used to books before bed. When Sanjay was born, Sarath always insisted that I stay with him during bed time. So, I would read to him while feeding Sanjay most of the time. So, for Sanjay, it was part of his day right from the start. I missed documenting their favorite books. But, better late than never, I decided to write here about their books on a regular basis.

Sarath’s current favorite: Rainbow Magic Series, Nancy Drew and Clue Crew, The Big Nate, any book about Dinosaurs or Space, Dr.Suess’s books

I never thought that he would read the Rainbow Magic books. It is about different fairies. They are very nice books. When he was in Kindergarten, he would not read any princess or fairy books because they are girl’s books. It took me a while to make him understand that anybody can read any book. But, now he loves these books. Many boys in his class apparently teased him about reading fairy books and his reply to them was :Boys will be boys, girls will be girls and books will be books. Anybody can read any book”. I was so happy about it.

Sanjay’s current favorites: Curious George, Chika Chika Boom Boom, any book about Planets,ย Dr.Suess’s books.

He can read small words now. So, any book he sees, he tries to read the title of the book. Most of the time he says it pretty good. One of his favorite activities is making words on the fridge with magnets.

 

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The Whatif Monster

Yesterday Sarath’s school had some pajama and book party where they had a person named Michelle read a few books to the kindergarten kids. Michelle is an author and illustrator. She talked about how she listened to her heart and followed her dreams. It was interesting to see a room full of kindergarten kids sit silently and listen to her for 1 hour.ย 

The most interesting part of the evening for me was the whatif monster. So, when ever you have a doubt in your mind (what if I am wrong? what if all the others laugh at me? etc etc…), you should give away all your worries to the what if monster. He loves to worry ๐Ÿ™‚ So, you are free to try out the new thing without any worries. If you make a mistake, you just tell the what if monster that it is okay and you are going to try again. There is also a book – Jonathan James and the what if monster which she read to the kids yesterday and it is a very nice book. This is the what if monster plus toy. Cute monster if you ask me.

what_if_monster

I thought it is an interesting way to teach kids to try new things – it might be a new food, a new sport, making a new friend at school or anything that worries little minds. Sarath already knew the what if monster and he totally loved her books. We even bought a couple of books yesterday. Here is the link to her siteย if you want to know more about her books.ย 

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Last Book I Read – Blogathon Post 6

The last book I read was Harry Potter! It was the best set of books I have ever read so far. Once I started it, I could not stop until the end. I am so waiting to buy the set of books and start reading again.

After reading the books, I was not sure about watching the movies. But, I just watched each movie twice and I like them too. Deathly Hallows was the best book in the series and so were the two Deathly Hallows movies.

Here are some things that I thought while reading the books ๐Ÿ™‚

– I would have loved to see was Harry and Ginny getting back together after the war. I know they eventually get together and get married. But, it would have been nice to read the scene of them getting back together ๐Ÿ™‚

– Before I read the books completely, I read in some comments about how people were sad that Snape died. All through the last book, I kept wondering about it. When I finally read Snape’s story, it was really touching.

– I wish Harry and Ginny’s first kiss happened much sooner ๐Ÿ™‚

There are a lot more things which I could probably write about Harry Potter but, I am really sleepy and need to get some sleep ๐Ÿ™‚

Do leave some comments about your favorite HP scenes ๐Ÿ™‚

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It’s a girl’s book – Blogathon Post 3

Sarath’s teacher sent home a reading sheet. The kids have to read aloud everyday for 15 min and the write the name of the book in that sheet. They turn it in to the teacher at the end of every month and if they have done a minimum of 15 days, they get a pizza hut coupon. Now, Sarath loves to read books but is not used to reading it aloud. We have been making him read aloud and it has been going really good for the past 4 months. He also earned a pizza hut coupon every month so far.

Few weeks back, I sat down with him for the reading and I gave him a book we got from the library. The book’s name is ‘Brave’. It had a princess on the cover. Sarath immediately refused to read the book. When I asked him what was wrong, he said “it’s a girl’s book. I don’t want to read a girl’s book.”

Me: Anybody can read any book. There are no girl’s and boy’s books.

Sarath: This one has a princess on it. Boys don’t read books about princesses.

It took me a good 15 min to convince this kid that he can read that book. In that process he told me the real reason he did not want to read the book. He thought the book is a scary book based on the picture on the cover. The thing that surprised me was that he did not want to tell me that he is scared to read that book until I prodded into it. The first response is that it’s a girl’s book.

Seriously where do they get these ideas? Is this influence of school? I am sure school plays a big role in this. But, he is only 6 years old! I knew we had to deal with these types of thoughts but, I thought we had time for that. Last week when we were in LA, my SIL’s son (almost 8 yrs) told me that cooking is a girl’s thing. He apparently heard it from some other kid. His mom and dad work and there are a lot of days when his mom is either working late or working from home and his dad takes care of him and his sister. Even after seeing his dad cook, he thinks cooking is a girl’s thing.

I always encourage both my boys to play whatever game they like to play. We never differentiate between toys. But, where ever we go, we are forced to see the differences. Even simple things like small toys are made into pink and blue. Is that really needed? These things really bother me and the worst part is we parents cannot do much about it. The kids pick up on this early on and their thoughts are fueled by their friends.

I am trying to stay a step ahead of Sarath by learning how to talk about these kind of things.ย Anyone going through the similar things? Any ideas on how to talk about these issues?

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Harry Potter

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Image Courtesy: Google Images

Yay!!!!! I have finally finished reading all the books in the Harry Potter series. I was planning to make time to read the series for a long time. Then, I read this post and decided that I just had to make time and read it and I am glad to have made that decision.ย When I started reading the first book, I had no idea, I would be able to finish the books in a month an a half. Every spare minute I had was spent reading the books. I borrowed the first two books from the library. Then, when I came to know that one of our friends had the entire collection, I just simply borrowed it from them.

This is one of the most amazing series I had read in a long time. Every book is an art piece in itself. I got so close to the characters that I almost cried when some of them died. When Dumbledore dies in Half Blood Prince, I was so shocked. I just couldn’t digest that fact. I was so hoping that it was a lie and Dumbledore hadn’t really died.

Deathly Hallows was the best in the series I guess. Such a great ending to the series. Every loose end tied neatly and keeping you guessing until the very end. Amazing!ย When I was reading the book, I did not want to watch the HP movies at all. But, then I just decided to watch them anyway. I saw the first 3 movies and can’t wait to watch the rest. I have become a Harry Potter fan now. I am going to buy the entire set of books and read them all over again – only this time I am not going to rush through the books.

Now, that I am done with the books, I suddenly feel like I have a lot of time on my hands. So, hopefully I can use that time to write more here.

 

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