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Rappy the Raptor: Dan Gutman and Tim Bowers

Literacy Milestone: Reading Babymouse

LiteracyMilestoneAOne of my favorite possessions is a stuffed Babymouse doll that was a gift years ago from Babymouse's author, Jenni Holm. I keep it on a moderately high bookshelf in my office. For a few months now, my daughter has delighted in climbing up to said shelf (there's a counter that she can stand on - it's not as dangerous as it sounds), and rearranging Babymouse (along with some other books and stuffed animals that also reside there). 

FullSizeRenderToday, she proudly showed me how Babymouse was sitting on a stuffed elephant's trunk. (The elephant is also a cherished possession.) I asked: "Did you know that there's a book series about Babymouse?" She had not known, and we immediately (never mind that I was still trying to work) had to go downstairs to get the first book, and start reading it.

This is my daughter's first graphic novel. It seems fitting to me that her first listen of a graphic novel should be to Babymouse: Queen of the World, because I adore Babymouse. I've given the early Babymouse books as gifts to a number of seven-year-old girls over the years, and would certainly have pointed them out to my daughter eventually (she has just turned five, and reading them on her own would be beyond her at this point).

In truth, I think that this book is a tiny bit beyond her comprehension level. There's a whole riff in which Babymouse is imagining herself as a hard-boiled private investigator that was completely over my own Baby Bookworm's head. But she's enjoying Babymouse: Queen of the World anyway. She immediately grasped the idea that some scenes (the pink scenes) are Babymouse's imagination. And she had no problem at all understanding the concept of Queen Felicia as a representative of "mean girls."  

So, I've promised to continue reading Babymouse: Queen of the World tonight at bedtime. I have a feeling I'd better start early, because she's likely to want to keep reading until we finish. I'm torn on the other books, though, as I would prefer to have her wait until she can read them herself. Decisions, decisions... [Updated to add: yes, we did finish the book as that evening's bedtime reading. I suggested that she wait until she could read the others herself. She responded: "Why?" Indeed. There will be no shortage of books for her to read on her own when the time comes.]

In our house, reading one's first Babymouse book is definitely a literacy milestone. 

© 2015 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook