Reading has always played big part in our life with Caidin. We started reading to Caidin when he was a month old. My husband Chuck would even read the sports section to Caidin with a sing-song voice. Whether that’s why Caidin is a strong reader and has such a love of reading, it’s hard to say, but I have to believe it played a part.
We always had books with us when we went out. We would read while sitting on the subway, or waiting in a restaurant or flying to visit grandma and pop-pop. It’s what we did when we had extra time.
Today Caidin loves to read. In fact on Fridays he can stay up as long as he wants as long as he’s reading. We actually got that idea from Bunnicula by James Howe. Caidin took Bunnicula out at the school library. After he read it he said ‘Mom, you have to read this, it’s really funny.’ I did and it is a laugh-out -loud story about a cat who is convinced the new bunny is a vampire bunny who sucks the juice out of all the vegetables (reading level age 8 and up.)
Caidin reads on his own and we also still read together. His dad is reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series to him, two summers ago I read Caidin the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis and currently Caidin and I are reading The Time Travelers (Gideon Trilogy) by Linda Buckley-Archer
But it all started when Caidin was little. These were eight of my favorite books to read to Caidin (or sing in some cases). We had so many books with stories from Dr. Seuss to Maya Angelou, but these are the ones I remember reading over and over again.
Hush Little Baby by Sylvia Long – I loved this book. I usually sang it instead of read it. It’s a beautiful, non-materialistic version of the original ‘Hush Little Baby’. Rather than papa buying things to quiet baby, mama uses the world around baby to soothe and comfort. It’s a beautiful version of Hush Little Baby.
Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton – Snuggle puppy is all about love and it just seemed like a song so I would sing it while we looked at the pictures in the book. Turns out, it actually does have music to it, and interestingly the tune I chose, was curiously close to the authors.
Hey Wake-Up by Sandra Boynton – This is a lovely book about greeting the day with enthusiasm, one of my favorite topics. I did silly voices with this story and it never failed to make Caidin giggle. And I’ll tell, giggling six month old Caidin was a great way to start any day!
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown – A timeless classic. We would read five or six stories before bed, but this was always the last.
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown – I just liked this book. Margaret Wise Brown has an interesting way of writing. You think you are at the logical end of the story and she adds on one or two more pages.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak – Caidin is a loving child and he could never understand why Max would be mean to his mom. Where the Wild Things Are gave us a lot to talk about with regard to the things we do, the consequences and the love that would always be waiting no matter what.
Top of The World (Toot and Puddle) by Holly Hobby – If you haven’t met Toot and Puddle they are kind friends and very adventurous. The illustrations are beautiful and Caidin really loved to listen to their story.
Little Quacks Bedtime by Lauren Thomas – Another right before bedtime book that helped Caidin wind down. Little Quack usually came right before Goodnight Moon.
When we read together it creates a connection and a common interest. When children are younger it creates a sense of safety, nurturing and comfort and I think that association to reading carries forward as they get older. You can also use reading to establish a routine, which, in my opinion, is essential for young children. They need a sense of structure in order to feel safe and it is from that sense of structure that they are able to branch out and explore without fear.
We used reading to establish a bedtime routine for Caidin that included him picking out five or six books he wanted to read, then we would sit in his bed and read to him. We would finish with two goodnight songs and then off to sleep he went. The consistency of this routine made for an easy bedtime for everyone.
Thank you to all the authors who create such magical, inviting and inspiring stories.
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© 2012 Christine Agro
Christine Agro is a spiritual teacher, clairvoyant, naturopath, Master Herbalist, conscious mom and author of 50 Ways to Live Life Consciously as well as of The Conscious Living Wisdom Cards (Special Moms’ Edition). Christine is founder of The Conscious Mom’s Guide , a membership site where she helps support you on your own journey of living life consciously and on your journey of being a Conscious parent. You can also join Christine on Facebook. To contact Christine, invite her to speak or to schedule an appointment with her please email her.