This is what my 2nd grade son told me this past weekend. He handed me a comic book, a trade paperback we’d actually picked up for the kids 2-3 years earlier. The book: Sidekicks by Dan Santat. The boy must have found it on his shelf somewhere, and he probably checked with his sister to get her opinion. Then the read, then him placing it in my hands and telling me to get to it.
Considering where he was with his reading this time last year – doing it but having to be prodded and cajoled – we are pretty excited. For a book family like ours, getting our first you gotta read this is almost like that first music recital or first base hit.
The boy really started enjoying and self-initiating his reading this past fall. Think it was a mix of maturation and the competition of his school reading log (he always wants to be at the top for minutes read a month). That and he was just starting to get enough words to make it more fun. He was into Star Wars and Super Hero reference books. He recently discovered the Beast Quest books and is onto the second series there. He even read about Einstein recently for a school bio project. Like his big sister, he will read at bedtime until he gets tired (sometimes too long).
As far as the referral: Sidekicks features a team of critters who happen to be the pets of aging hero, Captain Amazing. When the Captain announces he needs to recruit a new sidekick, the pets start competing and training for the job. Along the way they learn about their strengths and weaknesses, developing into a team. It’s well written and drawn, with good underlying themes… and jokes.
The boy is all about the jokes. As I was reading the book on Sunday, he would come by the couch once in awhile and point to the page and laugh and read along with me. Oh yeah, Dad, wait til you see what comes next…