Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Abhay in the race!!!

Abhay’s latest predicament is that he is always the last in a running race – be it during his weekly physical training class, or at a friendly game during recess, or while racing to the school van in the evening! Last Friday, he woke up with a foul mood at having to repeatedly lose to a couple of other kids as they raced him up to the school van from their classrooms and thus didn’t want to go to school…..talk about ingenious excuses to cut school! :-) I have always maintained that Abhay has never been as kinesthetically driven as the other boys and that he couldn’t have cared less if other kids beat him in a race or a game. Added to it, the scope for a regular physical activity was affected by our move to India, owing to fewer public parks (like in the US) and the fall out of living in an independent house as opposed to an apartment complex. So barring a few exceptions, Abhay has lagged behind other kids his age, when it comes to sports. So as long as Abhay wasn’t bothered, we couldn’t be bothered too. But now as Abhay seems to want to better his kinesthetic skills…. here we are doing rounds of sports camps/coaching academies in our area. So now our latest predicament is to fit in a sports/games class in our perpetually busy weekly or weekend schedule! J

So while we zero in on the right class for Abhay, I had Abhay read “Boris for the win” by Andrew Joyner from the Branches series by Scholastic which is intended to help emergent readers transition from graded reading to chapter books. Scholastic has brought out  about seven books’ series under the Branches banner that not only features characters and settings that early readers can easily relate to but also seek to motivate them to go on and progress into higher levels of reading.  I found this Branches series perfect for Abhay who is not yet comfortable with chapter books….and hope that Scholastic would soon begin market them in India too. Since they are currently available mainly in the US, I had a couple of books from the “Boris series” ordered to be delivered to one of our relatives who was visiting India around December last year, so as to  serve as an ideal read for his Sports day. But his school had other plans and decided to instead hold only School day this year! L Anyway, this series meant for children aged 5-7 is centered around an endearing little warthog named Boris, who like any other kid loves adventures. In school, Boris and his friend Fredrick find themselves being the last in most sporting events and are tired of having their classmate Eddie always win! So Boris along with Frederick draws up a plan for the upcoming Sports day with the help of another classmate Alice, their self-anointed coach.  So while they train hard to beat their school’s Usain Bolt, Boris encounters various obstacles, including Frederick suddenly afflicted with hay fever on the D-day thus making Eddie invincible. Boris however, still has a chance to redeem himself during the round-the-track marathon, which is the most important race of the day. Boris has a great start and runs past many of his classmates, dodges some of Eddie’s friends who try to slow him down and reaches the second place, behind Eddie, much to the sprinter’s surprise! But as Boris races past Eddie and nears the finishing line, he remembers his friend.  Frederick who is reeling under an allergy attack, is barely walking and is most likely to be the last in the race again. But being the loyal friend he is, Boris decides to help his friend and does something that no one in his position, would ever dream of and ends up winning the “Best and Fairest” prize. But who wins the race? Well, it's not Eddie…have your early reader read on to figure out the suspense! So while Abhay devours this delightful series, I hope he too gives it his best to be the fastest yet the fairest! J

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