Wednesday, December 2, 2009

You're Not Bored, Are You?

My kids are still relatively young, and I don't think it would matter if we were homeschooling or not--I spend a lot of time reading to them. Read-aloud time is a pretty special time. Take all the years my parents spent reading to me combined with all the years I've spent reading to my children, and in my mind you've got the perfect equation: books = love. It's not always perfect and cozy--there is plenty of time spent jockeying for seats, fighting over pillows and engaging in overly-aggressive games of footsie. Overall, though, it's a favorite pastime.

Beyond all the family-togetherness, I love the books, too. I can't tell you how many times I have been stunned by the number of good books out there. The really excellent picture books offer, usually in 28 pages, beautiful artwork and a great story (or idea or information,) in writing that is simple enough for a child to understand but elegant and engaging enough for their parent to appreciate. As perfect as poetry. Really, there's no reason to be bored reading to your kids!

Did you know this stuff was out there? Biographies, fairy tales, poetry, music appreciation, art history, science? So much for little dreamers and their parents to sink their teeth into. The aesthetic, mood and stories of Ezra Jack KeatsJean de Brunhoff, and Great Swedish Fairy Tales illustrated by John Bauer are as powerful for me now as they were when I was a child. What were some of your favorite picture books as a child? What about now as an adult?


  1. have you ever read the ancient (1910?) mother westwind stories by thornton burgess? i grew up on my (14 years) older brother's books and was delighted when an anniversary (50th?) edition of these came out when my kids were little. swimmy by leo lionni is a favorite political tome for the toddler set (the little guys are strong when they unite to outwit the big guys--would that it happened more often) but my fave of all time is go dog go...really...

  2. ALL Bill Peet books (especially Hubert's Hair raising Adventure and How Droofus the Dragon lost his Head) and Ferdinand the Bull

  3. We had what must have been one of my parents' copies of Old Mother Westwind--I remember vague snippets of it, and I remember deciding to read it myself. I bet if I read it now, it would all come back to me.


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