Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Cultivating Little Book Worms

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?


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  1. Oh, I am big on trying to cultivate a book-happy child! :) I remember growing up, I met some kids (in teens and even early 20s) who would say they had never read a complete book! I thought that was so sad!!

    As for kids books, I like a mix of old classics and modern ones too. There are some really great authors appearing on the children's literature scene right now! That said, we love Charlie & Lola (i have a 4-year-old daughter, so that one might be a given!), The Fantastic Mr Wani, Room on the Broom (and really anything by Julia Donaldson. I find reading her books out loud are somewhat fun!)... and for the littlest ones, I love the Pat the Bunny series. Oh and anything by Eric Carle. So good.

    I like what you say about getting wrapped up in a story. My ideal night is curling up with a good book and a chocolate brownie. :)

  2. We are also big fans of Julia Donaldson - I'd recommend everything of hers especially 'Monkey Puzzle' and 'Snail & the Whale'. 'Where's Spot' is my Youngests current fave. And the ones with memories from my childhood; the Ahlbergs 'Each Peach Pear Plum' and 'Peepo'. 1 year old is when the world of books starts getting a bit more interesting for Mum!

  3. Thanks for your recommendations! I'll have to check out some of those that I'm not familiar with.

    Urban Mums: Book and a brownie sounds a great combination :-)

    Natural Mummy: You're right about the books getting a bit more interesting for mum from age one!

  4. At Christmas someone gave me a copy of 'Waddle' by Rufus Butler Seder.

    It's a picture book but as you turn the pages the animals appear to move. It's quickly become a favourite - I'd thoroughly recommend it :)

    Like you I'm a big reader too. The books I remember best from my childhood are Beatrix Potter - Jemima Puddle Duck was my favourite; then as I got older I got into Roald Dahl in a big way.


Thank you for reading. I'd love to have your comments and thoughts!