, , , ,

So, rock star mother that I am, last Wednesday I realized that last Thursday was the end of school.

After making sure my daycare provider could take my eldest for the day on Friday (I got this working parenting thing COVERED!) I talked my eldest into, I mean, my eldest and I collaboratively decided that an awesome thing for her to do this summer would be joining the TD Summer Reading Club through our local branch of the Ottawa Public Library (Hi Elmvale!).

So we went to the library on Friday after daycare (not school, ’cause: done. I GOT THIS!) registered and picked up the kit (and some, you know, books).

When we got home we flipped through the booklet together and I asked my 5-year-old what her reading goal would be for the summer. She decided on a number. So I had her write it down. Except for the “k” because she couldn’t remember how to do that one.


Then we had some fun playing with the fortune-teller they gave us. I loved origami as a kid, so this was a nice way for me to show off those skills and totally dominate that activity, I mean, share my love of the delightful art of Japanese paper-folding with my child.

She then spent the weekend practicing playing with the fortune-teller and making her fingers work the right way to make it work. Go fine motor skills!


In case you are interested, I have travel to a book-filled place in my future and will daydream when my parents talk to me.

Moving right along, first thing on Saturday I thought we’d mix things up a bit and, well, read.

Each of my girls chose a book and we settled in to my two-year-old’s bed and read the following two selections:

Links to source

Links to source

My daughter’s in French school (my husband is Franco-Ontarian), so we got a selection of books in both French and English.

This was her first choice, written by Ginette Anfousse, and tells the story of Jiji’s first day of school (école), first as she imagines it, and then how it actually happens (spoiler alert: both are equally awesome).

She has a favourite stuffy – Pichou, an elephant – that she wished to take with her, but didn’t fit in her bag. So he waits at home and then gets debriefed on the day.

My daughter told me she chose it because she likes school (always a good sign). I had my daughter spell out a few of the repeating words, like école, and then tell me what they were as they appeared, but otherwise read to her. I also asked her if she knew what the Maple Leaf sticker on the spine of the book meant. She did. It’s means the book was written by a Canadian author. Woot woot!

We’ve read it a couple times since, so I’d say it’s a winner.

Gigi of yesteryear. Originally published in 1983, I wonder if I ever read it growing up...

Gigi of 1983. Given the date, I wonder if I ever read it growing up… Links to source.

Google also tells me that Jiji et Pichou’s adventures are part of a series, so we might look up some of the others on our next trip to the library.

This edition of the book is from 2009 and was produced in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the series. Apparently the pictures have been “updated”, so I might also see if we can find the original in the library so my daughter and I can compare pictures and see which one we like best.

My two-year-old’s selection was Katie Saunder’s Toddler World, published in 2013.

Links to source

Links to source

With 24 flaps to lift, it takes the reader through pets, farm animals, animals in the yard and (one of these things does not belong) party food. It also has a search and find section and a quiz at the end (with one confusing item – apparently you can find washing machines in kitchens?).

My kids fought over who got to lift which flap, but once we worked out a system, it was okay. My youngest enjoyed the farm animal sounds while I had my eldest spell out various animals (eg: cow, dog, pig). They both enjoyed the search and find section.

While it was obviously aimed at my 2-year-old, I think it worked for my 5-year-old too for reading and spelling out simple words.

So we counted both for Reading Club!

I was torn about writing the titles in over my 5-year-old's handwriting but otherwise I'm not sure we'll be able to track progress... maybe her writing will improve by the end of the summer and I won't have too....

I was torn about writing the titles in over my 5-year-old’s handwriting but otherwise I’m not sure we’ll be able to track progress… maybe her writing will improve by the end of the summer and I won’t have too….

Are we going to get through 61 books this summer? No idea. But we’ll TRY. And I may update you all from time to time on how we’re doing.

What about you? Any reading plans with your kids this summer? Any tips for me?