January 19, 2007

Two Old Books for Teddy

Teddy has been reading more lately. He got to the point where he can read well enough that it doesn't take forever to read a book. Right now he's reading the first "Harry Potter" book, which I'm not very thrilled about. Dominic read all HP books and loved them so he kept telling Teddy about them and Teddy wanted to read them too. I tried to avoid having him read them because I've heard from trusted Catholic sources that they are not recommended for Catholic children. Some Catholics, however say they are OK. Our priest, Father Joseph, said a while ago that he read HP and he liked the books and thought they were OK, so it was mostly because of Father's comment that I finally allowed Teddy to read the first book. I've never seen him so into a book before. He reads every spare moment he has and even wakes up early to read.

When I choose books for him to read, I usually choose the classics of children's literature, especially European literature (no, I'm not into the multicultural stuff). Dominic and I both buy books for him whenever we have a chance, so he always has stacks of books to choose from.

I recently found at Barnes and Noble a book I remember reading as a child, "Emil and the Detectives" by Erich Kastner, a cute story about the adventures of a boy trying to catch the thief who stole his money. I read the original "Emil und die Detektive" in German and wanted to share it with Teddy. Another book I remember enjoying when I was little is "The Paul Street Boys" by Ferenk Molnar ("Baietii din strada Pal" in Romanian), written in 1906 by a Hungarian author, it is one of the classics for children in Hungary and also pretty popular in the rest of Europe. I never hoped I would find that one in English but I finally did and I just ordered it used. Teddy will love it, I'm sure. It's about two "gangs" of boys in a neighborhood in Budapest, where more and more buildings are taking up the play space and the two gangs are fighting over the last available play area/field.

These are both pretty old books but with a timeless appeal. I know Teddy will love them. Unfortunately I will not be able to share my favorite Romanian books with him, because he doesn't read Romanian, although I hope that someday he will.

What were your favorite books when you were a child? I'm interested in any recommendation, especially of older (even out of print) books.


Anonymous said...

Carti care mi-au placut in copilarie si pe care le poti gasi usor: "Robinsoe Crusoe" de D. Defoe, "Comoara din insula" de R.L. Stevenson, "Insula misterioasa" de Jules Verne.

Irina S. said...

"Robinson Crusoe", a citit-o in varianta prescurtata. "Comoara din insula" si "Insula misterioasa" cred ca o sa i le dau sa le citeasca in vreo 2-3 ani, fiindca sunt mai lungi si cred ca sunt un pic grele acum, dar sunt exact genul de carti pe care vreau sa le citeasca Teddy si care cred ca i-ar placea.

Tirzah said...

I read the first Harry Potter book when there was a lot of Catholic drama going on about it, and I really liked it. I think what a lot of Catholic parents are concerned about is that Catholic symbolism can't really be applied to teach any theological truths through the story. In my opinion, not every book a Catholic child reads has to be like The Chronicles of Narnia; those books are amazing and certainly offer a lot more substance than something like Harry Potter, but there's nothing in Harry Potter which is anti-Catholic, it's just fun. I know the HP books have kind of a bad rap with some Catholics, but I have yet to hear of any young child renouncing his Catholic faith to be a witch. I'm certain that you and Dominic have raised Teddy as a solid enough Catholic for him to know the difference between theological truths and plain old fantasy.