I live with young children, so clearly we read favorite books over and over again. Sometimes's it's a good thing...and sometimes not-so-much. One of my recent favorites I re-read was Charlotte's Web. It gets better every time I read it, aloud or alone.
When favorite stories are in our blood, they shape our experiences. From the emotional reactions of experiencing the characters in Charlotte's Web to yelling "No Sittin' on Babies" from Pirates Don't Change Diapers (to Ellen's boys at Benny's Restaurant) to rubbing our tummies and saying "so tasty" like the Wolf in Little Red Riding Hood, familiarity with books serves so many purposes.*
In addition to emotional and social implications from getting books into our blood, there is also the consideration of reading fluency. In my work in Reading Intervention, fluency is something I consider quite a bit. Recently, I have been reading professional books by Tim Rasinski about fluency. One aspect that I think has huge implications are his suggestions for using partner reading and deep readings to impact fluency of the text at hand and those beyond. Much about these instructional strategies is finding ways to recreate home-reading lap experiences and the glorious benefits of the repetition of reading in a classroom setting.
This makes me think about those books and favorite parts that we read over and over again. Like Terrific Trains when Fran was one. I am a Kitten when Claude was two. Smash Crash when Fran was three. And Library Lion when Claude was almost four. And there's the series books we love: Little Critter, Chester, Mercy Watson, Froggy, Franklin, Frances, Henry and Mudge, Poppleton, Elephant and Piggie. And of course, Chicken Butt.
So when our children say "Read it again," we must!
* I need to stop saying, "Nibble, nibble little mousey. Who's that nibbling on my house-y" from Hansel and Gretel because I sound convincingly like the witch. Perhaps I should also stop checking Claude's finger to see if she's ready to be eaten.