At what age did you start reading to your child? We started showing Carys books from as soon as she could sit up and listen to one, and she’s always been interested in turning the pages. At 17 months, she now brings books to us, points to words and pictures and copies us as we read to her. She has her favourite books – Spot goes to the Farm, Dear Zoo, That’s not my Pirate. We’ve recently joined the Library and have a special shelf in the living room for the five books a week we borrow and read as part of playtime.
We don’t read her a bedtime story yet. My plan was to wait until she no couldn’t handle her current bed/bath routine anymore, which involves her in a bouncy chair watching Baby Jake whilst we get the bath ready. That day is upon me – last night I spied her walking out of the lounge after flipping herself out of the chair and flipping the metaphorical bird to Baby Jake.
And so to bed. Or baby bedtime stories. There are some books that won’t be on my roster for her bedtime. Not because I think they’re rubbish, but because every time I read them, I cry. I cry because they are so utterly sweet, so sentimental and so expressive of the love we feel as parents. I read in a strangled, awkward screech as the tears plop onto the top of Tibbs’ head. This isn’t what I want her to think bedtime is all about! So I save these books for the day time, when I’m not usually as much of a sissy.
If you’re in the market for this sort of book, here are my top three. I’ve omitted ‘Guess how much I love you?’ – even the picture on the front if I see it in a bookshop makes me tear up.
My Mum – by Anthony Browne
Forever – by Emma Dodd
Kiss Good Night, Sam – by Amy Hest
Give me some suggestions for bedtime stories that won’t have me sniffling into her sleep suit!
Ps – I also cry at the closing credits to In The Night Garden. This says it all, really.