My favourite moments with my kids are often reading a story together. It’s one of my best tools to keep the peace in our house. Maybe I am too tired to do anything else. Or my preschooler wants some attention. Or my toddler needs to wind down. Or I am about to lose my cool and so I grab a book and start to read before I start to scream.
Reading to my kids happens every day. Before their naps and bedtimes, and usually throughout the day, too. Books are scattered through every room in our house. Which means at any point in the day someone could be shoving a book at me insisting I read to them.
I absolutely love children’s books. Not only for the reasons I listed above, but also how they bring a sense of magic and wonder to an otherwise plain and ordinary day. Even for just a brief moment, I am asked to stop all of my thoughts, and all of my to-dos, and enter into a story. I have grown to deeply value these moments in my life.
Here are some of my favourites:
Everything Nancy Tillman writes is beautiful, but I absolutely love On the Night You Were Born. It allows my idealistic self spend a moment reminiscing on the births of my two sons. So if I was feeling angry or defetaed by this whole motherhood role, this book is able to bring me back to earth. Reminding me of the blessing my children are and the sense of achievement I should feel just by raising them.
We also enjoy reading anything by Ezra Jack Keats. His books, like The Snowy Day or Whistle for Willie highlight the ordinary moments of childhood. Making the simple seem wonderful. A reminder I appreciate often.
My preschooler has grown to love the stories by Mercer Mayer and I couldn’t be happier. The stories are short and sweet and often reflect experiences my son has had in his own life…or Little Critter inspires us to go and do something fun together that we haven’t done in a while!
Sandra Boynton has created a character, Little Pookie, who is so much fun to read about. Her books usually rhyme and are the perfect choice when you just want to laugh with your kids. Let’s Dance, Little Pookie has brought me out of many funks.
Sometimes I need something more than just a quick children’s story to restart our day, boost our moods, or bring some calm. In this case I choose one of these: Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney (my all-time favourite children’s book), Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman, or Stick Man by Julia Donaldson.
What are some of your family’s favourites?