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Challenge: Reading Together

2016: A Book Odyssey

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I do my best to read to my daughter every night before bed. I do. Sometimes, though, it feels like I’m sifting through a desert of already-read children’s books, thirsting for some literary quenching. I kid you not, I’ve made sure Frances had her bread and jam. I’ve memorized bidding the moon good night. I’ve seen all there is to see with a bear that is brown. I’ve Chicka chicka boomed way past bedtime. I’ve even kept a careful eye over a Corduroy cutie to make sure he was alright until the morning. With our growing appetite for amazing new children’s books my daughter and I have a weekly date to scour the library and bookstores for our nightly magical-journey reading routine. I don’t know about you, but reading the same rhyming books over and over again drives me to tears of boredom, as fantastic as they are the first 87 times. Then, all of a sudden, a breath fresher than a pack of Mentos enters stage left.


When I first heard about KinderGuides, promoted as: “a series of illustrated children’s books that introduce some of the most iconic works of classic literature to young readers,” I was chomping at the bit to get my hands on one of these glorious beacons of light in a dark book ocean. KinderGuides is the brain love-child of Fredrik Colting and Melissa Medina, co-founders of the new publishing company Moppet Books. This October, they are releasing four MAJOR titles: KinderGuides for Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 2001: A Space Odyssey, On the Road, and The Old Man and the Sea. The books aim to reach children ages six to ten years old.

I'm a classics lover, but my first iconic tale, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, was a challenging read when I was nine. I honestly couldn’t tell you if I even understood or grasped the meanings, emotions, or storylines. As a child, I just wanted to play my Gameboy all day, but when my mom decided electronics were rotting my brain she said, “no Gameboy or TV, go read a book,” and it happened to be the first book that I picked up. It wasn’t until a few years, and a few reads later that I internalized and fell in love with the story. I have no doubt in my mind that if KinderGuides existed in my childhood, I would have fallen in love at a much earlier age. Fredrik and Melissa are also planning to introduce future titles: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Alchemist, Pride & Prejudice and *gasp* Wuthering Heights (swoon), among others.

While the age range of these books is a bit older than my kiddos, I am beyond excited to introduce these reads to them. When faced with the decision to read Purple Unicorn Butterfly for the twelfth time to my three-year-old daughter, who wants to be an astronaut and fly a rocket, no offense to Purple Unicorn Butterflies, but we’re picking up KinderGuides 2001: A Space Odyssey, instead. And to her future Twelfth grade English Lit. teacher….you’re welcome.

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