No one told me that there would be a downside to instilling a voracious appetite for books in my son. Now that he has one, he wants to keep reading. More specifically, he wants me to read to him … all the time! And the same books, over and over. Once in the morning, once when we get home, and before he goes to sleep.

His regular rotation (Elias’ version of the shuffle) includes Saggy-Baggy Elephant, Tawny-Scrawny Lion, Where the Wild Things are, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and The Magic Rabbit (a newer book). Maurice Sendak and Gustav Tenggren are his favorite illustrators, and Elias has begun repeating Max’s parts when we read Wild Things to him. (It helps that I made up songs for Wild Things and In the Night Kitchen.)

Dough Plane in the Night Kitchen

I lament, however, that there are no history books for fifteen-month olds. How hard could it be to put together a book from a few dozen sentences and a score of pictures? Harder than it seems. Elias, nonetheless, responds well to Alley Say‘s work. Home of the Brave, about the internment camp (interview of author), loses him half-way through, but he sits through El Chino, an oral history of a Japanese-American’s journey to becoming a Spanish matador.

Allen Say's El Chino

Anyway, despite my moments of exasperation and hoarseness, I love his little habit. Makes me think of a song:

Ikh hob a kleynem yingele,
A zunele gor fayn!
Ven ikh derzey im dakht zikh mir,
Di gantse velt iz mayn.

(I have a little boy, such a fine son! When I look at him, it seems to me that the whole world is mine.)