I’m not sure what I’ll do if I have to read Room on the Broom one more time with Joey (OK, truthfully we all know that I’ll read it and be as excited about reading it as I was the first time…) but I honestly am not sure I can. I’ve stretched the book as far as I can. We’ve counted characters forwards and backwards, identified rhyming words, acted it out, spent time on the prepositions of the book, talked about weather, emotions, and even friendship. Yet still, Joey latches onto it.
Joey critically eyes the box each time I see him, and waits for the right moment to request it in whatever manner is available to him. Without his device he is quick to point, make eye contact, give some verbal utterances, and point again, silently willing me to open up the box and pull out his favorite characters.
As I try to find another book he’ll love just as much I find myself wondering what exactly is so appealing about this book. He seems to want it even more now that he does not have his device. What makes Room on the Broom just so engaging and enjoyable for Joey that he requests to read it so often, even when we have so many other books around (so. many. others)?
There is comfort in the predictability of the book, which is especially comforting when Joey cannot share his thoughts and ideas. When we first started reading it he was excited to label the pictures and share what he observed in the pages. Now that he does not have his device, he is quick to request the toy that corresponds with each character, in the order the characters appear. He knows the comfortable routine of the story, and loves waving a magic wand during the repeated phrases. Without his device, this book gives him opportunities to interact.
The book seems to have the right mix of repetition and novel storyline to give Joey the opportunities to engage while also being entertaining. While Joey’s old favorite series, Pete the Cat, has a great repeated storyline, I’ve noticed he’s not as excited by these books lately. Although he can participate in the repeated phrases, these books don’t offer the same exciting story engagement that Room on the Broom does.
Today we are going to attempt to read The Gruffalo’s Child in hopes of matching Room on the Broom’s repetition and enjoyability. Fingers crossed that it is a fit.