The thing that's MUCH easier about a passion for superheroes (and even for a passion for Disney fairies and princesses) is that there are so many outlets for indulging in superhero stories other than TV, which Sydney still doesn't get much of. I gave her several teeny Marvel superhero figures for Christmas, but without having to buy anything at all, Syd has as many superhero comic books, picture books, chapter books, and even audiobooks as she can handle, just from our public library. She especially likes Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, the Silver Surfer, and the Hulk, but her favorite superhero is Thor.
And of all the superheroes, Thor IS the best, because he's actually legitimately educational! His superhero origin story (or Thory, as we nerdily call it here) is similar enough to Thor's depictions in Norse mythology that I've successfully snuck in loads of further materials on the Norse God Thor without Sydney noticing.
Anyway, two of Sydney's reading days on her weekly schedule are actually mostly literacy enrichment days, because she still needs to move VERY slowly through the actual reading instruction and I don't want her frustrated with the process. Sometimes she gets to watch The Electric Company, sometimes we'll read a picture book together and then do a craft project related to it, sometimes she'll make puppets and perform a story back to me, sometimes I'll let her play on a phonics computer program, sometimes she'll sit down with her headphones and a stack of CD readers, etc.--basically anything literacy-linked that's NOT "sit down and decode the words in this book, pronounce them correctly, and also understand their meanings, on the sentence level and in the work as a whole." Syd loves to invent stories and loves to create books, so I thought that it would be fun to see if she'd like to invent a new story about her favorite guy, Thor, and create a book around it.
It WAS fun!
There are SO many things that I love about Sydney's creation:
- Does that drawing of Thor not kick ass or what?!? He's got his wings on his helm, he's got his red cape, he's wielding Mjolnir, he's got lots of shiny metal thanks to those new gel pens (thanks again, Grandma Beck!). I'm also really fond of the monster that's drawn escaping from its bubble--did you see how it's clawing a hole in the bubble? The perspective is really creative there. My kid's awesome.
- Syd mostly prefers to illustrate her books and verbally narrate them, but every now and then, when she's feeling extra confident, you'll see her brave an actual sentence. Yay!
- See, there IS some actual fact creeping into the superhero play! When we study the Norse myths, she'll be familiar with the rainbow bridge, with Asgard, with Odin, with Loki, and with whatever other clever little details she's picking up.
Currently, we have basically every kid-friendly item on Thor checked out from our public library (Sorry, other Norse myth/superhero aficionados! You can see Thor after our lending period expires!). Here are Syd's favorites: