Reading and Thinking

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Reading and Thinking is a primary reader with stories and poems for all ages and ability levels from 5-9, with pencil illustrations. Paperback from Amazon: Here is the start of one of the more advanced:

Zoe and the Why Witch

It didn’t start out as a very interesting day. Zoe followed her father around the supermarket expecting to be bored. All week long he would add things to his Important Shopping List as he thought of them. Often, he added the same thing two or three times. Then he would lose the list and have to make another. Then he found the original list so he had to compare it with his new one to make sure he didn’t miss anything out. Finally, on the Big Day, they actually got to buy stuff. How exciting is that?

So, obviously, Zoe was bored by supermarkets, unless she could find an interesting question to liven up the experience. At first, when she was only a beginner, she would ask simple things like “Why do supermarket people have to wear uniforms” and  “Who invented cheese?” Her father would be concentrating on his famous List and give her some careless answer like “It’s a rule, about hygiene” or “The Ancient Greeks.”  If you asked him who invented anything he always said “The Ancient Greeks”. When he was busy trying to decide whether or not to have fish for dinner you could ask him who invented flying to the moon or picking your nose and he still said The Ancient Greeks. Once, Zoë said “Who invented the Ancient Greeks?” but her father had already moved to the bacon counter and wasn’t really listening. He always forgot something on his List and said it was Zoë’s fault for spoiling his concentration.

As weeks went by, Zoë needed more interesting questions. First, she tried “Why are grapefruit called grapefruit? Her father was not really listening and just told her to look it up when she got home. She tried the internet and discovered they grew in trees in big bunches, so people down below thought they looked a bit like grapes.

Zoë wasn’t sure that sounded very convincing, or particularly interesting. She often wondered who wrote all that stuff on the internet, and whether they really knew what they were talking about. If you asked the computer “who invented grapefruit” would it stop listening and tell you it was The Ancient Greeks? She tried, but it didn’t seem to understand her question and just gave her a list of recipes, so she went downstairs and made herself a sandwich of pickled onions and strawberry jam that made her feel sick.


About pauleustice

Retired, more or less, but see
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