Friday, June 21, 2013

A Ferdinand Tree

My family and I just got home from an adventure in London, Paris and Southern Germany. It was as wonderful as it sounds. I'd be happy to give more details to anyone who asks! My favorite part was staying in a small town in Germany hiking, biking and spending time with my family.

The power of literature has had a far reaching affect on my family. The way literature has woven our lives together amazes me. We still recommend titles to each other, but the books that have had the deepest impact on us as a family are the ones read aloud by me or my husband when they were too young to read to themselves. (and even when the could!)  My children and I share so many inside jokes related to  children's books I read them when they were much younger. Now that my oldest is 21 I felt so rewarded by the hours I spent reading to her when she turned to me and said, "Doesn't that tree look like Ferdinand's tree?" When all three of my kids burst out with this quote from Millions of Cats after seeing yet another cat in our small German town my heart surged with pride..."Cats here, cats there, cats and kittens everywhere. Hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats."

One of the best experiences on our trip was in London. We had tickets to see The Tempest at the Globe Theatre. My son loves The Tempest. We have all loved watching the BBC production Merlin on Netflix together. Colin Morgan, who plays the role of Merlin, took on the role of Ariel. My son badgered asked me to read the play before we left. Did I? No! When we got to the theatre we went to the gift shop before waiting in line for two hours in order to get good groundling "seats"! There in the shop was an easy to read chapter book of The Tempest. It was so much fun sitting and waiting to get in while reading aloud a child's version of The Tempest to my grown children. The play meant more to me because I had read the book and even more because I had shared it with my children.

Keep reading to children! It gives them connection. It gives them memories. It creates and strengthens family bonds!


  1. I'm dying to hear more about your trip. It sounds amazing. Was your husband with you or was it just the four of you (um, why didn't I know you had a son?).

    Books change everything. They help us see how everyone else thinks about things. They help us see more about who we are. Thank you for sharing.

    First in Maine

    1. Yep, my husband was along! This was our celebration of 25 years together and the graduation from college, high school and middle school.

      Books are amazing windows to the world and souls!

  2. It sounds like a wonderful vacation! It's amazing how many text connections your family has made. Welcome back!


  3. I read the title of your post and my heart just swelled. I knew exactly what kind of tree you were talking about and then... there it was. I love children's literature and Ferdinand is one of my favorites. Sounds like an incredible trip!!

    The Teaching Thief

  4. I hope you share pictures. It sounds wonderful.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First


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