We’ve heard quite a bit from mums reading with their children – and we’ve also been collecting comments from dads about their experiences of sharing books with their children.
The National Literacy Trust (NLT) are urging more dads to share books with their children and to recognise their importance as reading role models, particularly for boys. Read more here
I love reading with Luke, it’s a great way of sharing an experience together, a privilege really. Some of my earliest memories of Luke as a baby, looking back, are of reading to him. That always felt good, when you are a new parent and you are still trying to work out what you are actually meant to be doing, what your role is, reading to him always felt like a good thing, like somehow you knew what you were doing. There are a lot of books that Luke has enjoyed; last night we read Tin Soldier, by Jess Stockham. He liked that one, we read it again whilst eating breakfast this morning. He went through a phase of just wanting to read Alfie stories, which were all good books. Julia Donaldson’s work is always popular; Tabby McTat, Room on the Broom, The Gruffalo, have all been great. I think we’ve read The Gruffalo so many times that he can now recount large parts of it from memory, well large parts might be a slight exaggeration, but some of it anyway. Luke has recently been given two of the Little Red Train books as a present, they are by Benedict Blathwayt, and they have gone down really well. One of our joint all time favourite books is definitely Man on the Moon: A Day in the Life of Bob, by Simon Bartram, it has great artwork, a funny story, and Bob’s favourite lunch is the same as Luke’s, peanut butter sandwiches and cheese sandwiches, in case you’re interested.
Neither of our boys will go to bed unless they have had at least two stories. Our one year-old gets very cross if he doesn’t get to read Dear Zoo and insists on being the one who turns the pages and opens the flaps. He also mumbles along to the story. We have had to buy a second copy of the book as our 3 year old is in the ‘mine’ phase and has rediscovered his love for any book his brother enjoys! He has always loved the Spot the Dog books but has a particular soft spot for The Cow who fell in the Canal. It is a Dutch book that I loved as a child and when I read it to him for the first time a year or so ago, I was convinced it would bore him as it was, and still is, significantly longer than his other favourites. To my surprise (and now frustration as I have to read it regularly) he loved it! They both love the ‘That’s not my…’ Usborne series, anything by Emily Gravett and Peepo. I love going to bookshops with them and reading with them is lovely way to say goodnight – particularly if the day has been very busy!
I enjoy spending time reading with my daughter (age 3) and as she gets to know certain stories, she can join in their retelling which makes it more fun. At the moment she is particularly into the rhymes in Michael Rosen’s A Great Big Cuddle.
One of her favourites is his poem Once, she uses different voices and expressions for the poor little ‘mom’ for the line “What about me,me, me?!” See Michael Rosen performing the poem ‘Once’ from A Great Big Cuddle here
Casper loves books and the activities on LoveMyBooks really help to bring them to life for him. Making the books interactive also make it more enjoyable for us dads, especially when you are reading Where the Wild Things are for the tenth time in an evening!
I love reading with my son Leo. Books have different roles in our house depending on the time of day – at about 5.30 am they are pushed under my nose with the words “Daddy, it’s morning, read me a story!” Later on – they inspire games, making Leo want to re-enact tales of astronauts, knights and ninjas. After nursery, we read to learn about dinosaurs, castles and sharks – which form the conversation at dinner time. Then, when it’s time for bed, we pick a good story to help us calm down and relax… It’s lovely time spent together, focused and imaginative, interactive in a way TV can never be. I can’t wait, as he grows up, to share the stories with him that I loved as a kid.