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May 17, 2011

Knowing the story before the story was told

“Every night, after tea, his mother took him on her lap and read to him. It was the moment in his day above all others which was understandable to him, one where he lived in coherent companionship and liberty. there, horses, ducks, rabbits, foxes and other animals talked, had adventures, and were friends. His mother read well. She read slowly and clearly. She let him see the book as she read and since she re-read the same books many times, he came to memorize the story on each page, cued by the illustration on it or on the facing page. And knowing the story before the story was told was security, power, delight and beauty.” –Pete Sanger, “Leaping Time” in The New Quarterly 118

3 thoughts on “Knowing the story before the story was told”

  1. Rachel Power says:

    Children’s desire for repetition is fascinating. As the reader, though, I find I have to come up with novel ways of keeping myself entertained! Generally involves taking on the role of actor and trying to read each time as if perfecting my lines. Thank you for introducing me to ‘Double Lives: Writing and Motherhood’, which I can’t wait to read. Clearly nothing could ever derail your voracious reading habits!

  2. Melissa says:

    I love repetition of stories with young readers. A break through moment while tutoring a struggling Grade Two reader was her expression on her own third read of a familiar book that we were working on “that was easy!” Pure delight at decoding the mysterious text and beaming as a reader.

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