When our son was first born, one piece of advice from a member of the extended family was to start reading to him immediately. She thought it helped them get used to being read to before they are at an age where they can fidget and move away. Both my husband and I are quite keen readers anyway, but we took her advice and started reading to our son early on. When he was too tiny to stay awake long or notice the book properly, we would just read our own books aloud to him for a little while. As he got a bit older, we started reading children's books to him and as with most parents, a story before bed is part of his bedtime routine. Now at age one and a bit, he loves books and being read to. He'll sit quietly on your lap and help turn the pages. He loves books with flaps to lift too.
I just added a few children's books to my Library page on here. Interestingly, none of them are books I had in my own childhood but they are all enjoyed by our son and we like reading them too! I do however have memories of my parents reading books to me regularly and I grew up loving to read. Two books stick out in my memory in particular. One is a large flower fairy book that was probably between two and three feet high and used to be my mother's. It was thirty or so years old when I was a child and a bit fragile, beautifully illustrated and unique for being so big a book. The other, is Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot, a collection of humorous cat poems that my dad used to enjoy reading to me.
There's something wonderful about getting wrapped up in a story and as a parent, watching little eyes engage with the pictures and later, with the story itself. With TV, computers and living in an age of digital media, I think it's nice to encourage an appreciation of books with our little ones and there are some great books out there for all ages to make the task easier.
What are your favourite children's books? Do they tend to be ones you remember from your own childhood or do you go on recommendations from other parent friends? Do you read to your children before bed? If you have older children, how have their reading habits developed?