Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bedtime Stories Review: White Fang

By Umm Abdurahman
My sons are both very energetic, active and lively boys. Honestly, sometimes it is a little hard for me to keep up with them. You would assume that most children their age that wake up at 7.30am, do not take naps and spend all day running around would be exhausted by bedtime, but this simply does not apply to them. A great way to get them to wind down and ready for bed for us has been reading a bedtime story to them.

We started with a series called classic starts, and the last book we finished was White Fang written by Kathleen Olmstead. Abdurahman really loved this story. Normally we read a chapter or two per day, however he loved this story so much that at the end of every chapter he would beg me to go on to the next and would say: “this is the last one”, so on average we were reading four to five chapters a day.

The story is about the life of a young wolf pup that is born into a harsh world, in which he faces many hardships, but finds the strength to survive. From losing his siblings, his father, his mother, living through famines, discrimination from other dogs and facing torture at the hands of humans, white fang forms a harsh reality and grows to be a stern and cold character. His life changes drastically at the hands of a new master and he learns about kindness, love, and happiness.

My son found it to be highly addictive and emotional.  There were a lot of new things that he was introduced to that I would either have to explain or show a picture of, in order for him to understand. As I read the book to him and watched him, it was amazing how engaged he was, as though he were imagining the scenes unfold before him. The more you expose your child to, the more stimulating it is for their minds. Books are a wonderful way to broaden their minds and encourage their imagination and understanding.  I am in no rush for my children to grow up, however I do feel that exposure to a broad range of ideas and materials really increases their maturity. My son’s speech, his questions and understanding all reflect this.

I think this book is great for kids starting at around 4, 5 or 6 years olds depending on your child. I think it will be especially popular amongst boys. They love animal stories and this one definitely left its mark on my child. I think it has a lot of great lessons and has nothing questionable. Naturally the next book my son chose from the series was “the call of the wild”, as he assumed the picture on the cover was of a wolf, and said he wanted to read another story about a wolf. To be honest I enjoy the bedtime time stories as much as they, especially if I had never read the books before. It is a nice way for me to relax with them at the end of the day, and enjoy their close company.