Before I became a mother, I had decided a few things for my kids. One was that they were going to love books. I was hoping that they would naturally just love them and they do. Which is good as I did not have a backup plan. Books have been a part of their lives from birth. In fact, the first thing I bought for the twins while they were still on the inside was a book. Our moving bill probably could have been cut in half if I had parted with more of my library instead of packing those treasured tomes into boxes and sending them round the world on a ship. Luckily now, I have the Kindle and my growing library takes up a lot less room.
I admit that my love of actual hold-in-your-hand books was a driving force behind going with a publishing house versus e-book only for Beyond Snapshots. I really can’t describe the feeling of finding it on shelves at a bookstore. There is something I wrote in libraries around the world. That is life-list big right there.
Luckily our kids all have well rounded godparents including a couple of literati and more than one book addict, so I know that their erudition will be well looked after if they do not choose to run off with the circus. Oh heck, even still, I am confident that they will be well read gypsies. They can pack Kindles next to their passports in their little backpacks.
As in a lot of houses, story time is big here and we could spend all day with noses in books if the internet suddenly fell off the end of the earth.
When I shared another version of this shot in my latest 10 on 10 post, I got a big response from people interested in what Kieran was reading so I thought I would pull together some of the books that we have on constant rotation. Thanks to one godmother, Michelle, that book up there is now something both Kieran and I know by heart (which makes it easy to read E.V.E.R.Y. night.)
Gemma can (and often does) go through a chapter book a day. She reads at night after we have tucked her in and she reads in bed before the rest of the house wakes up. As you can imagine, she has many favorite books and tends to get through a series of books (Enid Blyton, American Girl books, those fairy ones…all 4,000 of them etc…) quickly. Since she is a sensitive soul, I am always on the hunt for things that can help her grow emotionally. The Zen Shorts and Zen Ties books are two that we go back to often. Not only are they beautiful to look at, but their gentle many layered messages are easy to grasp and carry in her heart. I never expected to find a gorgeous and clever series of books that would combine Gemma’s love of math and reading at such an early age. At the library yesterday, I did exactly that with Math Appeal by Greg Tang. We now have all the others by him on order. I highly recommend them for budding geeks. The other discovery from the library yesterday was a something I took a chance on. It is a wistful book with a strong message of real life written entirely as a poem. Gemma is getting beyond the fairy tale age and needs age appropriate means to making sense of difficult feelings like sadness. Books like Pearl Versus The World help her understand that these emotions are essential, transformative and ultimately transitory. Gemma read it last night and loved it.
The twins love to go to the librbary as they can discover books on their fluctuating current interests. Right now they are obsessed with animals that can kill or at least really maim you…the more blood the better. Quite the contrast in study of mortality from Gemma’s more soulful and emotional exploration. With the twins, it is like I am raising Bindi Irwin and Bear Grylls. So to balance out the gore, I try to read them things that talk about the life cycle in a more ethereal way and that bring beauty to the world. Two favorites right now are Miss Rumphius and The Dancing Tiger.
Finally, I still have all the board books in the twins’ bookcases. I am not sure how I will be able to let some of these go. Their simple beauty spans the recommended ages. I just pulled three that I love for different reasons. Bear Snores On is so fun to read…in fact it is a performance. Freight Train is just pure pretty. 10 Minutes till Bedtime is a classic and one that Gemma still joins us to read.
My final recommendation is the book that I now love to give as a gift. Press Here is a book for kids of parents who love art, technology AND reading with a little bit of magic thrown in.
This is just a teeny tiny peek into what the kids are reading and why. I would love to hear from you. Leave your book lists in the comments so we can all expand our world of words!