My seven-year-old niece wants books for Christmas and I am ecstatic. I’ve been trying to get her to like books even before she could read. She often asked for pretty dresses and dolls, which her doting grandmothers were more than willing to give. I, being the evil aunt, stuck to my mission of molding her into a nerd. So I gave her books. Every year. Except for that one time when I went on a different route and bought her a box of simple science experiments for kids.
I was planning to give her books again this year but I haven’t thought about which ones to get. She already has picture books on flora and fauna, outer space and modern marvels. I’ve also read to her the Palanca-winning stories of Rene Villanueva, Grace Chong and Luis Gatmaitan; timeless tales of Lola Basyang; and sob-inducing stuff like The Velveteen Rabbit.
I met up with my mom in Cebu last September and she handed me this note from my niece.
Two out of three are fairy tales but what the heck, she’s seven. A little too young to be reading The Brothers Karamazov. So I got her requests but I made sure to get the original version of The Little Mermaid, not the cheesy Disney fluff. (But I’d have to make her read some Margaret Atwood when she’s older to counteract all that boy-crazy, damsel-in-distress crap she’s getting.) And I also bought her this.
I wonder at what age I should introduce her to The Lord of the Rings.