Sunday, December 28, 2008

Little Pilgrims Progress

(Johannah Bluedorn's art:

I have been reading this wonderful gem to my children- a 6yo and 4yo- for a couple of weeks now. They love it so much! The four year old is even taking to this book more than the classic Winnie the Pooh! After one reading last week, my daughter began drawing a map of Christian's journey and my son was building the city with his blocks. I did not even suggest they do those things but the story is having such an impact on them!

The Reading Mother

I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
"Blackbirds" stowed in the hold beneath.

I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.

I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness blent with his final breath.

I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings —
Stories that stir with an upward touch,
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be —
I had a Mother who read to me.

- Strickland Gillilan

When Mother reads aloud, the past
Seems real as every day;
I hear the tramp of armies vast,
I see the spears and lances cast,
I join the thrilling fray;
Brave knights and ladies fair and proud
I meet when Mother reads aloud.
When Mother reads aloud, far lands
Seem very near and true;
I cross the deserts' gleaming sands,
Or hunt the jungle's prowling bands,
Or sail the ocean blue.
Far heights, whose peaks the cold mists shroud,
I scale, when Mother reads aloud.
When Mother reads aloud, I long
For noble deeds to do...
To help the right, redress the wrong;
It seems so easy to be strong,
So simple to be true.
Oh, thick and fast the visions crowd
My eyes, when Mother reads aloud.

I love these poems. That is my greatest desire in reading to my children and in the books they will encounter: that they would "long for noble deeds to do, to help the right, redress the wrong"; that "wholesome life to the boy (or girl) heart brings"; that the stories would be ones that "stir with an upward touch."

I highly recommend the above book and I highly recommend all parents to read to their children!


Amy said...

Alright! You know I am going right now to see if my library has this one... I love it! Love the beauty of your heart!!



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