Reading to the Second Grade
J. Patrick Lewis, Laureate

For Mom: A Herrible Hoffalump

One of my favorite childhood memories of reading with my mom was the time she could not quit laughing as she read "Piglet Meets a Heffalump" from Winnie-the-Pooh. Pooh and his friend Piglet are trying to catch an elephant, or heffalump, in a Very Deep Pit. Little does Piglet know that Pooh has ended up there, with his head caught in a honey jar. Piglet leans over the pit to see what's causing the commotion.

"Help, help!" cried Piglet, "a Heffalump, a Horrible Heffalump!" and he scampered off as hard as he could, still crying out, "Help, help, a Herrible Hoffalump! Hoff, Hoff, a Hellible Horralump! Holl, Holl, a Hoffable Hellerump!" And he didn't stop crying and scampering until he got to Christopher Robin's house. 

Thanks, Mom! And Happy Mother's Day to all.


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And a happy mom's day to you too! :)

The very best kind of memory---of books and moms---mine is how I learned to read from a single string of rrrrrrrs my mother read aloud in a Rand McNally Elf book illustrated by kitten photographer Harry Whittier Frees. It was a book I requested again and again just to hear my mother say the word "purrrrrseverence." I asked her why she always made that sound on the page of my favorite kitten---she showed me the rrrrrs---and I was off. I went back through the book and applied all the letter sounds I knew to the other words I had practically memorized. Oh the joy of self discovery triggered by a single memorable experience. Thank you for reviving that memory.

Thank you, Suji! I hope you had a good one.

Lovely, Deb. The magic of reading is about connection in so many ways.

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