Children’s Books—This Post Features No Kink!

The cover picture was taken from Pinterest from a site called “We Got the Funk”. Thanks for this and should you desire I will remove the picture.

When I was a boy, I was read to every night. Different people would read different things. My mother tended to read short stories from one of the story collections we had. My father tended to read full books chapter by chapter. To be honest I much preferred listening to my father. The stories were exciting and his voice was perfect. A lot of the time I found the stories my mother read to be boring!

And then when I had children, I also read to them every night. You can guess that often I would read them chapter books too. With my kids, it was almost always me who did the reading. It wasn’t something my first wife enjoyed. So for this week’s meme, I’m considering books that were read to me but also books I read to my children. Reading to your children is the best way to open up the magic of fiction and the wonderment of books. I firmly believe that reading to children sets them up for success at school and also (perhaps more importantly) opens their imaginations!

I spoke in my first post about fiction that I love. I mentioned CS Lewis and the “Chronicles of Narnia”. These are books that I have always loved. My father read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe to me when I was very young. It was exciting and I looked forward to the next time he would read to me. It was with disappointment that I realized he was finishing it. So it was great that he then went to the next book in the series (Prince Caspian) and read that to us. As young children we hadn’t realized that there were more than one book in the series. At any rate I was a precocious reader and I read the whole series of seven books in grade one. I particularly liked the fact that the last book was also the first book explaining how Narnia came to be. It was a perfect circular fictional series. It was also a series that I read to my girls when they had reached a certain point. They like me, really enjoyed the tales!

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Another book I read to my girls wasn’t written until 1986. It was written by prolific child author Robert Munsch. Called Love You Forever, it was a book that often brought tears to my eyes. It seemed that no matter how often I read it to my girls I would have this reaction. I’ve heard Munsch do it himself and he has a particular melody that he sings. I used to sing that same melody to my girls. The song in the story goes like this:

“I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always! As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be!”

I don’t think there are many messages you can send to your children that are better than this.

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Another book I read to my girls–but don’t ever recall it being read to me is The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. Written in 1922, this book has definitely stood the test of time. In short a young boy is given a stuffed rabbit. The toy doesn’t capture his imagination and he puts it down to play with his other new toys that are modern and exciting. One night the boy’s grandmother gives him the rabbit to sleep with and before you know it the rabbit becomes a favourite of the boy. The toy rabbit has heard that the love of the boy could make it real and he longs to become real. When the boy gets scarlet fever, and then recovers the toy is scheduled to be burned along with all the other possessions of the boy. Put out in the garbage waiting to be burned the velveteen rabbit cries a real tear which hits the ground. From this spot a flower magically grows and a fairy appears from this flower. She promises to make him real because he has become real to the boy.

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Finally I want to mention the Harry Potter series by J K Rowling. My girls were older as these novels came into prominence, but I read several to them. I would guess they are the last books I read to them. By this time my daughters were reading by themselves but we continued the tradition of daddy reading to them for a while. I think I read them the first three books in the series–maybe even the fourth. It was always a special time. They would cuddle up to me wrapped up in their blankets and I’d read. I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything.

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As usually I wish to thank the lovely May Moore for generating this meme and doing all the work to make it a success. If you are a parent or grandparent there are bound to be some really good recommendations from all the participants this week. Have a check and perhaps you’ll find something new to read to your little ones!

Book Matters

21 comments

  1. Narnia was one of the places I escaped to when I was a kid and then I too passed that on to my children. I read some with them to them but then they took on that baton and read the series themselves. I don’t think they were ever as crazy as me about them though.
    However, they were crazy about Harry Potter. I was and am not a particular fan- I found them over written and many themes stolen from other novels – but I want to say a MASSIVE thank you to JK Rowling for writing them as these books really helped ignite a passion for reading in so many young people and that is a wonderful thing to do.

    You nailed it with this comment – “I firmly believe that reading to children sets them up for success at school and also (perhaps more importantly) opens their imaginations!”

    Another fab post Michael – I will link it up for you now
    x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This post brought back so many memories. My Dad used to read to me as well and often my Mum would find both me and my Dad passed out with the book still in his hand after he fell asleep too! xD Those are memories very close to me and it warms my hear that you did the same for your girls 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved reading to them. And they would get so into the story. Wow betide the person that chose to call me during those times… in the end I turned off my phone and ignored anyone that came to the door. This was special time and no one was going to steal any of it!

      Like

  3. This was a lovely post to read Michael, so much you read / had read to you was formative for my reading beginnings too. I fully agree with what you say about being read to when you’re young, so I read to my 2 loads constantly. Sometimes if I was really tired I’d get my eldest to read to the younger one.

    The eldest and I read in tandem -The Horse & His Boy (also Narnia) once he was an independent reader, I’d read it too and we would discuss.
    I recommended the Velveteen Rabbit to them, because I loved it so, but apparently I traumatised them! I also have a loft full of toys because they never wanted to get rid of their toys in case they came to life! Did you know there was a companion book to ‘velveteen’ which helps people love themselves?
    Great share Michael, thank you.

    Like

  4. Harry Potter was SO significant to my childhood. My best memories of it is going to the midnight sale of the new release with my dad. It’s nice to read you had that sort of connection with harry potter and your kids too.

    Liked by 1 person

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