One of the first things my girls say to me every morning when they get up is “Read a book!” Of course, this is music to this book-loving mama’s ears, but believe it or not, there are times during the day when I simply cannot drop everything and read. I mean, laundry still has to be done and meals still have to be cooked, which is sometimes the extent of housekeeping I get around to on any given day. Some days I do not manage to get a shower before Steady Eddie heads off to work, and I need twenty minutes or so of “babysitting.” What to do?
Well, our television died a startling death one evening a month or two ago while we were enjoying an episode of Little House on the Prairie, or I would plop my girls in front of Miss Patty Cake or some DVD we’d recently borrowed from the library. (Yes, I did resort to using the t.v. as a babysitter in a pinch.) That’s no longer an option, and we have no immediate plans to replace our television, so I had to come up with something else. (Yes, I know they could watch a DVD on the computer, but that’s not knowledge I want them to have yet. 😉 ) I have discovered a solution I like much better, though, and of course it involves books.
We have been fans of chapter books on CD (audiobooks) for a while now, but it is only recently that I have begun borrowing picture book-and-CD sets. They have been a hit so far, and one of them affords me just enough time to get into and out of the shower without two little girls peeking behind the shower curtain 100 times before I’m done. Why not just use the longer audiobooks they’re so fond of? Simple. Once they begin listening to a longer story, they don’t want to stop, and sometimes that’s just not practial. Besides, I like to save the longer ones for rest time!
We have just gotten to know Cynthia Rylant’s Mr. Putter & Tabby, and my girls have found a new favorite. We brought home Mr. Putter & Tabby Row the Boat this week in book-and-cd format, and the girls have listened to this story multiple times already. This edition produced by Recorded Books is narrated by John McDonough. McDonough’s voice is perfect for the gentle story of Mr. Putter; his cat, Tabby; their neighbor, Mrs. Teaberry; and her dog, Zeke and their summertime adventure. I think Lulu enjoys the story particularly because it is a beginning chapter book; it contains four short chapters, so it appeals to her need for a longer, episodic story, but it is just long enough to suit my needs, as well. 😉