Once upon a time…
A mouse took a stroll through the deep, dark, wood…
In a hold in the ground there lived a Hobbit
Every day Commander Sam Vimes of the City Watch would be home at six o’clock sharp to read to young Sam, who was one year old
But definitely not
This book is not for you
Fellow (and far more consistent) blogger, Ben, writes of telling stories to his children and of Fathers’ Story Week over at his blog, Mutterings of a Fool.
One of the most amazing things we, as parents, can do is read to our kids. Pass on the stories we loved, discover new stories, share. It’s quality time we get to spend, one on one (or two, or three…), with the kids without being distracted by the TV, cooking, gardening, homework, work work or the myriad other things that get in the way.
And, along the way, traditions develop. Such as reading “Fix-It Duck” in as strange an accent as possible and trying to keep a straight face. Starting each Julia Donaldson book with the opening lines from at least 2 wrong ones. Doing all the animal noises in “Where’s My Cow?” to the best of your ability (yes, even the Hippo). Such as sitting down on Christmas Eve and reading “The Night Before Christmas”.
As you can see, I’ve been doing this one for a while, now!
There’s something wonderful about reading familiar words. I have a go at my eldest for reading the Harry Potter books again but every few days I’ll be re-reading (or reciting from memory) The Gruffalo, You Choose, or Little Rabbit Foo-Foo.
In fact, for the last 14 years, this has been one of their favourite books.
If you don’t know this one, it’s a not so much a story as an excuse for your kids’ imaginations to run riot. It starts off “If you could go anywhere, where would you choose” and presents a wonderful double-page spread of amazing choices and wonderful detail. Our copy is roughly 50% paper, 50% sellotape, it’s been torn and mended more times over the years than I can count. Certainly it’s suffered more than any other book – the Mick Inkpen treasury, the Octonauts, the Gruffalo itself.
Get them reading at an early age and they’ll stick with it. Thing 2 waits eagerly for the next David Walliams to be released, interspersing them with Mr Gum or whatever takes his fancy when the library rolls around. Younger boys are obsessed with Beast Quest. Eldest has just started The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Me? Got my sights on the latest Dresden Files. Just got to finish following Tim Moore around the Giro d’Italia.