Friday, October 24, 2008

Nurture Over Nature

My niece is turning 7 years old in a couple of weeks. Seven! Seems like just yesterday the adoption was official and my sister and brother-in-law were bringing home their 8-month-old daughter.

I'm probably what is referred to around their house as "The Boring Aunt." Yep, her and her baby brother have both been getting books from "their boring Aunt Wendy" for the last couple of years. Listen, both of those little wieners have enough toys. Plus my sister and brother-in-law believe in the philosophy of "we'll always make room for books." Toys, yeah not so much. Plus both the niece and nephew enjoy reading, so books it is.

So I asked my sister what my niece was reading now. I bought her beginning chapter books last year, and given how much she reads (and how smart she is - just sayin'), I figured she had "outgrown" that particular series. My sister said, "I'll get back to you."

Well word came down this week. My niece wants a Barnes & Noble gift card. She wants to be able to go shopping and pick out her own Magic Tree House and Junie B. Jones books.


I figured I had at least another six years before I had to resort to giving that kid gift cards for birthdays and holidays. Then a thought occurred to me....

What does her Aunt Wendy like to do more than anything else in the whole wide world?

Yeah, go shopping for my own books.

Like Aunt, like niece. I'm so terribly proud! And damn, my sister is a good Mommy.


Kati said...

LOL! Wendy, soon you'll be blessing the wonder of the gift card! I have 8 nieces and nephews, all but one is a teen. I buy gift cards for Christmas. Honestly, they prefer it! My mom buys VISA gift cards, so they can spend them anywhere. I go with Best Buy for the boys and American Eagle, Gap or Abercrombie for the girls. And my graduate from high school present is a Tiffany silver bracelet for the girls. My nephew is graduating this spring and I think I'm going the cold, hard cash route for him.

Is your niece close by? Can you make a fun day of it? Take her for lunch and then go to B&N? She might enjoy a grown up day out. My nieces love to go get mani/pedis with me and then out for lunch.

It's great that she's a reader though! Mine are too.

Liza said...

My oldest niece(17) loves bookstore gift cards too. The two of us could spend hours in B&N or Borders looking for books before we sit in the floor and make our picks. I can take the middle(14) and youngest(4), but the middle niece only goes for coffee and the youngest likes to look at every book in the store. All 3 have been given books since before they could walk.

Bookwormom said...

If you're close enough to do it, I vote for the afternoon out with Auntie as well. There's nothing better than spending time wandering around a bookstore. Unless it's ice cream and books.

Also fun? Feeding them sugary treats right before you drop them off. LOL :) It's my sister's favorite trick with my gang.

nath said...

LOL, awesome kid!!

Seriously, ppl just don't understand why we want bookstore giftcards. Yes, it's less personal, but it allows us to buy anything we want :P

Wendy said...

Alas, I'm on the west coast and my niece is in the midwest - so an afternoon out is, well, out. I will be home for Christmas and I could take her then...but let's face it. If the kid's anything like me that gift card will be long gone before she sees her Auntie Wendy live and in person.

Cathy in AK said...

There's always room for books at our house too. Just about every time the kids come home from school with their Scholastic Books order forms, we buy something. Or if we see a book we think they'd like, or if someone asks what we want for Christmas/birthdays/Arbor Day. Books, baby!

azteclady said...

You know what's even better? Taking her to the book store to chose the books.

Some of the best afternoons with my kidlets were either buying books or reading them (sprawled on my bed heh)

And congrats on having two young readers in the family!

Lori said...

My boys always end up with Borders gift cards from someone. And we always spend, spend, spend together.

Along with the gift card, why don't you send the first in the Little House series, too? I think I was about 7 when I started reading that one. If it's too old for her, then your sister can read it with her. Although, if she's reading the Magic Tree House books, then I doubt it's too old.

And, BTW, who doesn't love Junie B? That girl gets into more trouble.... Steve even still pulls out his old Junie B Jones books every now and again, LOL (although I think it's just cause they're easy to read and he doesn't have to think at all, LOL!).

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Yep, my first thought was, "Why not go book shopping together?" Super Librarian can teach the niece a few things about what good juvenile fiction is, I'm sure!

Kelly C said...

My 8 1/2 year old nephew luvres Junie B Jones and I just recently found out that he is interested in the Magic Tree House books . . yaaay!

His older brother, my eldest nephew who is 14 loves to read as well. He read all the Harry Potter's, all the Spiderwyck Chronicles. Plus he likes the American & Michigan Chillers book. I actually got him to read OH MY GOTH by Gena Showalter and he recently read LOOKING FOR ALASKA, which he said was awsome!

It makes me soooo happy that they are both readers. :-)

Wendy said...

Lori: Ooooh, that is such a good idea! Damn, can't believe I didn't think of it. She's read Charlotte's Web (a couple of times at least), so she can probably handle Little House.

Susan: I'm woefully out of touch when it comes to children's literature. I know the "biggies," but that's about it. My head is so wrapped around adult fiction, and that's really what I know best. Lucky for me I have several colleagues at my disposal when I need advice on children's and YA!

Allison('s)Reads said...

Whyever are you "boring" - you sound like the smart, fun, fabulous aunt to me!! I love giving books as gifts too, especially to kids. And it's great that your niece wants to buy specific books as opposed to spending the gift card on Webkinz stuffies/accessories or something:)