The other evening, Mr K — who doesn’t usually like “girly” movies and would much rather watch the likes of Conan or Easy Rider — suggested we watch About Time. We both rather enjoyed this touching, romantic comedy about Tim who discovers he can time travel, and sets out to fix all the mistakes in his life. I was rather taken with the words Tim spoke at the end of the movie about relishing the moments of life
“We’re all traveling through time, together, every day of our lives… All we can do is do our best to relish this remarkable life”
I felt a kerplunk in my brain and a memory marble popped out showing me the day I picked up a copy of Anno’s Journey and flicked through it in a rush. I knew it was a classic picture book and had won like a bunch of awards and all that, but at first glance, I have to say I was underwhelmed. What was all the fuss about? There are no words, and the muted pictures didn’t seem especially eye-catching.
But then I took the time to sit down and actually look — to relish each page, each moment with the book — and I saw the clever details in the illustrations, the little stories within the story. I took it home for the Young Lad (who loves books, but does not like reading for himself) and it was a hit!
Although his teacher says he’s reading fine, he usually refuses to read at home. Give him a book he’s never read, and he refuses to read it because he doesn’t know the words. Give him a book he’s read before, and he refuses to read it because he’s had that one already. Getting him to read his school reading book is a nightmare! Frustrating doesn’t even begin to describe it.
This wordless picture book, though — it was a whole new experience. He didn’t need my help with it, he was in charge of the book. I think he found it empowering. Together, we found so many fascinating things in the illustrations. Miss Missy, not wanting to be left out, started searching too, and it was she who discovered Seurat’s “Bathers” and “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”
So then, of course, I couldn’t help but bring home more wordless picture books. We spent several evenings side by side on the couch, looking at the pictures, wondering over the story, and relishing our time together with these wonderful books.
Now I know that “reading” these books didn’t actually help the Young Lad learn to read a single word, but we had such fun together, and I think that’s actually more important!