Like many households, we’ve spent a decent amount of time watching the Olympics this past week. Both of my children have learned a lot about different sporting events, recognize and root for specific athletes, and they definitely can recognize the American flag. So tonight, when my son chose the classic book The Little Engine That Could to read, the last thing I expected was a connection to the Olympics. As he often does, my son and I spend a lot of time looking at the illustrations, including the end papers and inside cover. Tonight, as he pointed to the different trains in the picture, he determined that one was gold, one was silver, and one looked bronze….really? I mean, I realize that we had just finished watching the Olympics before we started getting ready for bed, but I didn’t see this connection coming.
(But…if you really look at the trains, I guess they do look gold, silver, and bronze. This boy surprises me often.)
Once I started reading, he decided a couple of the trains didn’t look so silver and bronze up close, but that didn’t take away from the story. We’ve read this story multiple times before, so he knows the storyline, and his focus was more on the toys in the trains, and which ones he would choose if he had a choice. I always imagined that he would get excited and proud when the little train made it over the hill, but that’s not his focus.
At any rate, my takeaway tonight is…sometimes you don’t know where the connections are going to come from, but it’s still evidence that they are thinking and learning while you’re reading.
(Shout out to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, who sent my son the book when we first enrolled a couple years ago. If you have a child between the ages of 0-5, and you haven’t looked into this program, I strongly suggest that you do so.)