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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thoughtful Read Aloud

We're reading Pictures From Our Vacation by Lynne Ray Perkins this week. The children are quieted by this story of a family vacation that does not turn out quite as the participants expected. The journey seems a bit too far. The motel pool has no water. The family farm is old and dusty (with potato-chip-shaped badminton racquets). It rained for days! They cannot even watch television during the rain.

"The television got three channels: the striped channel, the channel that showed what you could watch if you had a better TV, and the French channel.

'Where's the English channel?' my brother asked.

'Between England and France,' said our grandfather.

Our mother explained how this was a joke."
(for some classes, we also have to explain why this is funny)
When the rain finally stops, the family plans to go swimming. But the route to the lake provided some challenges.

"The secret path was even more secret than our dad remembered." (love the overhead view of the family through the leaves as they trudge in pursuit of the lake)
Memories and images form of playtime, conversations, and togetherness, as well as of things observed, like the electric towers that appear to walk down the road, passing power along in their hands. "It's probably hard to take a picture that shows that, even with a really good camera. And it's hard to take a picture of a story someone tells, or what it feels like when you're rolling down a hill or falling asleep in a house full of cousins and uncles and aunts. There are lots of things like that."


  1. I have a rather large bookshelf in a second bedroom that is stocked with all children's book. As we begin to downsize, I had my granddaughter sort those for "give-away"...interesting what she discarded, and how interested she was in those I could not bear to eliminate.

    The book you mentioned describes some of our family trips.

  2. most likely all of us have experienced a similar family trip.

  3. I love the quotes you choose . . . makes me want to reserve the book--NOW.