MarkBarb wrote: ↑Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:32 am
Hop on Pop - The book that started me reading
Right, I forgot about my first book. And I don't even remember the exact title. It was the first of the Macmillan "Ted and Sally" pre-primers. I entered kindergarten, and after about three weeks they decided I really belonged in first grade, so they moved me and I was, of course, disoriented.
My folks had read to me a lot and showed me words in books and I had a high degree of reading readiness, but they had not tried to teach me to read. And this was before The Cat in the Hat
. I knew Dr. Seuss, of course, but only from having my folks read me If I Ran the Zoo.
So this was the first book I had ever seen that had very simple words. I can't swear as to what they were exactly, but I think the first page said "Look, look," and the second page said "See, see." "Run" and "play" and "ball" and "funny" followed. The dog was named Boots, and Boots was often funny. They didn't try to describe what Boots did, but the pictures made it clear. See funny Boots!
Anyway, when I came home from school that day, my mom asked me how school had been, and I said "I can read! I can read!" And my mom said "Really?" And I said "Yes! The kid next to me showed me how."
The sheer rapturous joy of reading completely overcame any critical objections to the bland stupidity of the story.
I still can't believe that in third grade, we read a story about "Ebenezer Never-Could-Sneezer." He couldn't sneeze because his nose had been clipped off by a cannonball in a war, and he longed to sneeze. The happy ending was that he could go down by the railroad, where there were apparently steam trains, and by using good timing he could go "Ah--ah--ah--" and the train would go "Choo!" And he could go "Ker--ker--ker--" and the train could go "Choo!" The more I think about that story, the more disturbing it gets.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.