Sunday, March 15, 2015

Shark Obsession

Ethen is growing up so fast.  Too fast.  He turned six this past week.

Flashback to Ethen at one...and those horrible marble stairs with glass and metal railings.  Yikes!  And he's wearing slippery socks too!

Lately he has had an obsession with sharks.  He has been devouring the non-fiction books about them at the library.  We have read about great white, megalodon, goblin, mako, carpet, lemon, hammerhead, reef, blue, bull and tiger sharks -- the list goes on and on.  Did you know there are over 450 different species of sharks!?  I am learning way more than I ever desired to know.  He did this homework page for school and I just had to laugh.  I had to ask him what a hybodus was.  "A Jurassic shark, mom."  Duh.

We took him to the Houston Museum of Natural Science special Shark! Exhibit last month.  He watched in awe as clips from the movie Jaws! played on the screen.  How do you tell him that it is all make believe when you've got this megalodon fossil jumping out at you!?

So when Ethen begged me to get I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916, from the library I gave him as many excuses as I could as to why we shouldn't read that book.  It is a chapter book for about 8-12 year olds, but in the end, I couldn't stifle his excitement.

I've always known Ethen was smart.  (He just got accepted into the Gifted and Talented Program at school, go Ethen!) Since he could speak, he always spoke words beyond his youth.  He wanted Legos for 10-year-olds when he was 3.  And now, he is ready to jump into reading chapter books on his own before I think he's ready.

SIDE NOTE: Dave remembers a crotchety old teacher who wouldn't let him read the Hardy Boys when he was a boy in 1st Grade.  He still has sore feelings to this day about someone telling him he wasn't ready...

Anyway, I really am trying to channel his excitement and enthusiasm into good, uplifting books.  But some people just prefer the non-fiction, real-life, in-your-face type of stuff.  Especially little boys.

Back to the book I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916.  He has carried it everywhere.  I told him he could read it aloud to me.  We take it in the car each time we run an errand, it goes to lunch with us, he even took it to church the past two weeks, wanting me to whisper the words he didn't know in his ear.  It's been our constant companion and topic of conversation for a week.  (We've had spring break this week, so it really has been unrelenting).  He had me look up Beach Haven, New Jersey, on Google Maps to see where the events took place.

So, I am on the hunt for books for him to read -- challenging yet good for his age.  They aren't easy to find.

I just finished reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone out loud to my kids.  I wanted to introduce Maya to the series, but I wasn't sure how she'd react since she is hyper-sensitive to scary stuff.  I wanted to be there to explain it along the way, and to see if it would be something she would enjoy.  She loved it, embraced it all like so many have, and now belongs to the Hufflepuff House on

In reading the book, I included Ethen.  I knew it was a stretch for him and didn't want to introduce it prematurely, but we couldn't very well exclude him.  He was riveted on every word, interrupting and asking when he didn't know the meaning.  He would ask to see pictures on the internet of movie stills from the events I was describing.  I promised them both we could watch the first movie as soon as we read the book entirely.

Similar to Maya's Bluebonnet list I blogged about last post, Ethen has a list at school that the State of Texas recommends called 2x2s, meaning they are great for kids age 2 through 2nd grade.  He, too, read all of the books on the list.  So after that VERY long introduction, here is a list of books that Ethen has been enjoying.

The first one is about sharks, of course!
Nugget & Fang: Friends Forever -- or Snack Time?  by Sauer, Tammi.
In the deep, deep ocean lived two best friends.  Nugget and Fang did everything together, and life was perfect until Nugget went to school and learned that sharks and fish can't be friends.

He memorized this next one.  It is so fun!
The Watermelon Seed, by Pizzoli, Greg
Crocodile accidentally swallows a watermelon seed!  Will a watermelon grow in his stomach?

Little Red Hot, by Kimmel, Eric A.
Once upon a time there was a Texas gal named Little Red Hot who loved to eat chili peppers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Her favorite spicy treat is hot pepper pie; delicious and just the answer for getting rid of the cold germs that have her grandmother feeling under the weather.

Fraidyzoo, by Heder, Thyra.
Little T is afraid of going to the zoo, so her family imaginatively creates all the scary animals she may see. She’s soon ready for the trip, but then her family encounters a creature more frightening than any zoo animal.

Count the Monkeys, Barnett, Mac
It's time to count the monkeys!  It's fun and easy, so let's turn the page and get started... wait a minute!

And here are some other non 2x2 picture books that we have enjoyed:

This Book Just Ate My Dog, by Richard Byrne
Old MacDonald Had A Dragon, by Ken Baker

Since he is showing an interest in chapter books, I am desperately to find some that will hold his interest.  I'm going to try out the following:

Written by a 1st Grade teacher drawn from real experience in the classroom, Abby Klein knows exactly what first graders are thinking. Freddy Thresher has an infatuation with sharks and an annoying older sister.  Sounds familiar?!  We'll give this a try, but some reviews are saying there's lots of name-calling and such.

Tooth Trouble
The King of Show-And-Tell
Homework Hassles
Don't Sit On My Lunch!
Talent Show Scaredy-Pants
Help! a Vampire's Coming!
Yikes! Bikes!
Halloween Fraidy-Cat
Shark Tooth Tale
Super-Secret Valentine
The Pumpkin Elf Mystery
Stop that Hamster!
The One Hundredth Day of School!
Camping Catastrophe!
Thanksgiving Turkey Trouble
Ready, Set, Snow!
Firehouse Fun!
The Perfect Present
The Penguin Problem
Apple Orchard Race
Going Batty
Science Fair Flop
A Very Crazy Christmas
Shark Attack!
Save the Earth!
The Reading Race
The Giant Swing
Welcome to Second Grade Snow Day Dare

This series is written by the guy who wrote Captain Underpants, so I have my doubts.  We will give it a try, but if there is any potty language like that that runs rampant in his Captain Underpants series, we won't be reading them.
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Mutant Mosquitoes from Mercury
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Voodoo Vultures from Venus
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Mecha Monkeys from Mars
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Jurassic Jackrabbits from Jupiter
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Stupid Stinkbugs from Saturn
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Uranium Unicorns from Uranus
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Naughty Night Crawlers from Neptune
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Un-Pleasant Penguins from Pluto

And of course, here is a list of the 
I SURVIVED SERIES, by Lauren Tarshis
All historical fiction novels, the author keeps the story details simple. By telling the stories from a child’s viewpoint, she makes them appealing to children. I'm still going to read them first to see if they are appropriate for Ethen.
I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912
I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916 
I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005 
I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941 
I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 
I Survived the Attacks of September 11, 2001
I Survived the Battle of Gettysburg, 1863
I Survived the Japanese Tsunami, 2011
I Survived the Nazi Invasion, 1944 
I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii, A.D. 79
I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871 
I Survived the Joplin Tornado, 2011 (August 2015)

Leave a comment if you have any other suggestions.

1 comment:

Deb said...

I love that Ethen is so curious(and smart)!! We miss him! 😀