On the Summer Reading Challenge

On yesterday’s family trip to the library, both boys signed up for the Story Lab summer reading challenge. Fils aîné is quite interested in it for its own sake, while fils cadet likes anything that’ll result in him getting stickers… So now we have a cardboard story lab, score cards, bookmarks and all kinds of other bits and bobs. If they read and review 6 books before the end of the holidays, they get a gold medal. The reading won’t be hard, but the reviewing and getting the details back to the library might be interesting.

Dr Xargle's Book of Earthlets

Fils aîné‘s first choice was Dr Xargle’s Book of Earthlets by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross (Andersen, 1988), which he said “thought it looked like it would be really funny”. It’s been around for a while but this is the first time I’ve read it and it was highly entertaining. Dr Xargle is an alien teacher explaining the habits of earthlets and their parents to his class. Fils aîné was a little bemused by such pronouncements as

They have one head and only two eyes, two short tentacles with pheelers on the end and two long tentacles called leggies.

Once he understood that the alien was being silly and getting a bit muddled up, he became quite taken with it. He never got to laughing out loud, but did rate it “3 stars good” so it seems to be a hit. I imagine the laughs will pick up as he becomes more familiar with it.
If we can get fils cadet‘s opinion of the books he picked, I’ll share it here too – at the moment we’re stuck in an endless loop of Octonauts and Alfie Needs Gives a Hand…

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About forwardtranslations

I'm a freelance literary translator from German and French to English. The title of my blog comes from Mary Schmich's description of reading: it struck home with me, and seems especially apt for translated fiction. Here are some of my musings on what I'm reading, re-reading, reading to my children, and translating.
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One Response to On the Summer Reading Challenge

  1. Pingback: A Silver and a Gold on the Same Day – Not the Olympics, it’s Story Lab! « a discount ticket to everywhere

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