I vividly remember being read to in the evenings by my parents as a kid, it’s one of those really great childhood memories that I know sparked my imagination and contributed to my love of reading and writing. A couple that I remember most clearly were Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes and Owls in the Family by Richard Farley. Oh, and I remember reading the entire Little House on the Prairie series. My mom and dad would take turns reading to us while my sister and I lay sprawled out on the floor coloring and drawing pictures that corresponded to the stories. Books have always been an immensely important part of my life and I really want it to be the same for Emma (4) – and as delightful for her as it was for me!
I just started the same tradition with her, reading to her from the same book every evening before bed, and I’m really happy with how much she’s able to remember and enjoy the story. She’s been quite addicted to the story of the borrowers ever since she saw The Secret World of Arrietty, so I decided to start with The Borrowers by Mary Norton (which at the moment of this post is only $3.96 on Kindle at Amazon!).
Actually that’s not quite true… we started with a paperback copy of The Littles first, but I was SO bored reading it out loud that I stopped about 1/4 of the way through. I believe kids of all ages can learn to read and understand good literature (it doesn’t have to be dumbed down or oversimplified for them) so I didn’t push through that one, I just moved on to The Borrowers and that was a good decision I think – it’s so well-written even I am thoroughly enjoying the read! And I know Emma is paying attention because every once in awhile I’ll stop and ask her a question about what is happening and she’ll repeat word for word what I read.
One of her favorite reading moments is when I call her to look at a picture, and there are a lot of sweet illustrations in the copy of The Borrowers we have:
There are more books in the Borrowers series so we’ll probably be reading these for awhile, but I want to be thinking about what we’ll be reading in the future, too. Some I’ve been considering are The Boxcar Children, Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables (of course), 101 Dalmations, the Betsy-Tacy books, and the All-of-a-Kind Family books. Those last two I read as a child and loved. It’s so exciting being able to start reading these with my kids!