My son learned to read last year. It was, and still is, the greatest milestone I have witnessed in the life of my child. Yes, learning to walk was amazing and one cannot deny the joy a parent feels when your little one graduates from diapers into underwear. These are all wonderful and should be celebrated, but there is nothing quite like learning to read. Listening to my son read often brings tears to my eyes, being a reader myself, I know the power a book has to transform your mind, to transport you to places you may never see in real life; a book has the power to heal and imparts knowledge that you may never be able to learn from anyone else. More so, reading is independence. It allows you to read important labels, to follow important rules, it can give you direction when you don’t know where to go and it can often save your life. I think adults often take for granted the absolute gift it is to be able to read.
I’ve encouraged my children to read from an early age, I’ve tried to grow their little library of books at home and when asked, I always encourage gift-givers to give books. Even with the introduction of digital readers and tablets, which no doubt, has made reading more accessible and even cheaper, I still believe in the magic of a real book, turning pages until they are dog-eared from continuous use, the musty smell of an old library book; reading is a legacy I hope to leave for my children long after I have gone.
In saying this, I thought I’d share a few of our favourite books; books my children and I have enjoyed reading during their toddler and preschool years.
The Curious George series.
If you grew up in the 80s, you know Curious George. The gutsy little monkey who belongs to the Man in the Yellow Hat; his antics will keep your little ones entertained.
The Mr Men and Little Miss series
What I love the most about these books, are the lessons they impart in a rather unconventional way. The books are all about people who are very different – tall, short, angry, happy, worried or loud. It gives you a chance to discuss with your children the diverse world in which we live.
The Cat in the Hat series (Dr Seuss)
Little children love rhyming books, and Dr Seuss is all about the rhymes! There are so many books in the Cat and the Hat series, and they are great for older kids too.
The Berenstain Bears series
Also a favourite from my own childhood, these books always end with such a good lesson for little people.
When I’m feeling… series (Trace Moroney)
These books are amazing for discussing feelings with children. In the series, you will find titles like When I’m feeling Angry, When I’m feeling Jealous, When I’m feeling Lonely. There is a book for every emotion!
Which books does your family enjoy?