Hot Springs, N.C., a beautiful little town on the French Broad River, deep in the heart of Appalachia, may not appear to be much of a multicultural environment at first glance, but check out what my nephew and his wife, who live there, have been reading to their boys, aged 7 and 5. Quoting from a recent email:
“A copy of Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto and Ed Martinez came home for good the other day when the librarian decided the cover was too damaged for further circulation. Our house rabbit had reduced its size by about 20% – apparently those tamales looked pretty good to him too.
“Recently we’ve been reading the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne. Quite compelling, full of historical facts and adventurous enough to enthrall a second grader. Day of the Dragon King concerns the rescue of a legend written on bamboo before it is to be burned. So far we’ve been to Pompeii, a medieval Irish monastery and a Civil War field hospital; later books deal with even more magical and fantastical themes.
“Last week the boys had me read Rikki-Tikki-Tavi for several nights in a row (yes, I do the voices – can’t help it). I had picked up [Caldecott Award winner] Jerry Pinkney‘s adaptation of this classic Rudyard Kipling story from the library because the illustrations caught my eye. The artwork is beautiful.”
Thanks for the field report, Melody! Keep ‘em coming…