Having a lazy morning and I thought I would pick up and look at A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.... This is a book which I read and loved when I was 14 years old, but which has over the years resisted efforts at rereading. I picked up a copy at a garage sale recently and was enchanted again by the opening paragraphs.
Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo...
His father told him that story: his father looked at him through a glass: he had a hairy face.
He was baby tuckoo. The moocow came down the road where Betty Byrne lived: she sold lemon platt.
This morning's discovery is, this is a great, great read-aloud book. I haven't enjoyed reading anything aloud so much since The Hobbit. Try reading this aloud, in an even, relaxed tone:
They all laughed again. Stephen tried to laugh with them. He felt his whole body hot and confused in a moment. What was the right answer to the question? He had given two and still Wells laughed. But Wells must know the right answer for he was in third of grammar. He tried to think of Wells's mother but he did not dare to raise his eyes to Wells's face.(And in addition to thinking this sounds great, I am identifying with it -- I can feel myself getting hot and confused as I try and figure out how to make the boys stop laughing at me...)
You know what book this is reminding me of in its opening pages, is Boy by Roald Dahl.