Here is a good example of why you need to know your kid.
I found Wiley and the Hairy Man at the library and snagged it because I liked a telling I’d heard once, and wanted to look at the story.
Melody (2 1/2) got a hold of it, and because I didn’t want it to be too terrible too talk about (she might have already looked at the pictures) I decided reluctantly to read it to my girls.
Melody *latched* on to it. She wanted to hear it again and again.
If you’ve never heard of it, it’s about a boy who avoids getting captured by the Hairy Man (a wicked-looking snatcher) by using his wits and following his mother’s advice.
You may guess already these are themes I like my children to absorb.
In addition, the Hairy Man is twice gotten rid of by the arrival of Wiley’s hound dogs. And Melody and I will nod together that everybody is afraid of something– even scary somebodies.
One evening I had just finished telling someone why I choose to read that story to my kids when my mother, skimming the book said, “That’s a pretty creepy thing in there. That one ought to go back [to the library].”
I don’t think I contradict my mom that much (we agree on so much to begin with), but to this opinion I just said, “No, I have my uses for it,” and felt a sudden thrill at knowing both my own purposes and my daughter well enough to be confident I was making the right decision.