Now that Emily has finished reading Harry Potter, she’s back to her old ways of reading multiple books at once.
Currently, she’s reading:
- Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends
- Happy Birthday, Bad Kitty
- Emily Windsnap and the Monster From the Deep
But even though her current reading list is longer than mine, even though she’s 8 years old, and even though I still get teased by a friend for it, Emily and I still love reading together a few nights a week. Neither of us think that she’s too old to snuggle up under a blanket together with a good book while I read it aloud – crazy voices and all. As a teacher I love that it gives her an opportunity to hear me read with expression, but as a mom I love that it gives us something to bond over.
One of our favorites that we’ve read together was Charlotte’s Web, a book that my first grade teacher read aloud to the class. It was wonderful sharing something I’d fallen in love with as a child, and we had fun laughing at the characters and talking about how amazing it would be to see a word written in a spider’s web. When we got to the last line of the book, Emily and I had a good, long cry together. She loved it so much that we dove right into another classic by E.B. White, The Trumpet of the Swan. It too became a fast favorite.
This time though, we’ve set our sights higher. We’ve decided to dig into one of my other all-time favorite books, The Neverending Story. We had a crazy rainy day here not too long ago, and while looking for a new movie to watch we stumbled across the film version of the book on Amazon Prime. Something told me she’d love the story as much as I did as a kid, and I was totally right. After the movie was over I told her that it was based on a book, and I pulled it out of the cabinet. Her eyes bulged.
The Neverending Story is a book unlike any I’ve ever read, not just because of the unbelievable imagination and storytelling behind it, but also because instead of being typewritten in black or gray ink, this book’s text is printed in green and red. If you are unfamiliar with the story, it’s about a little boy, Bastian, who reads a book called The Neverending Story. The book is printed in two colors to represent the parts of the story that focus on Bastian (red), and what Bastian is reading in his book (green).
In addition to this unique feature, it also handles chapters differently. In addition to giving each chapter a number and title, the first word in each chapter also begins with a different letter of the alphabet – starting with “A” and running all the way through “Z,” for a total of 26 chapters. For example, in the photo below the chapter starts off talking about Xayide, one of the many characters in the book. The only pictures in the book are illustrated around that chapter’s letter in the same red and green ink the text is printed in, and features key elements contained in that chapter.
The book is pure magic, and I’m excited to dive into it with my book-loving daughter. But the real magic is those special moments we share over books like this. Those are the real never-ending stories, for those moments will be cherished forever in my heart. I know one day they will end, but for now I’ll hold on tightly. <3