Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Why am I writing this?

We read a lot. We have a lot of books. But for a while, my husband and I were not making conscious choices about what we read to T: there were books from when I was a kid, books we received as baby gifts, and books we picked more or less randomly from the library. Nine times out of ten, the criterion for T's choice of book is staggeringly arbitrary: he pulls the book whose spine protrudes farthest on the library shelf! To be sure, we have found some good fits this way. Among them were the Duck & Goose series and my National Geographic pop-up books from the 1980s. But at times we have driven ourselves crazy with books' bad rhymes, factually inaccurate texts, and vapid stories.

T's dad and I have had several conversations about how we would want to guide T's reading and how we select what books to read to him. We want T to maintain his independence but also have a bit more guidance. We still encourage him to select books at the library. And he still pulls many books at random (sometimes, too, he has specific requests for the librarians). Our selections for him, however, come with a bit more forethought now. So what am I looking for? Value. More specifically, that means books that:

- are enjoyable to read
- teach about the world (people, places, things, activities, etc.)
- set an example of how to deal with different situations
- promote healthy emotions
- have art we like
- elicit further questions/reading
- prompt conversation

Since making more conscious reading choices, I've noticed several changes. I enjoy our story times more consistently. T and I talk more about the texts. He relates books to his life and to other books. And, he almost always loves the books that I pick out. There is additionally a change in how I spend my free time; I am now writing this blog. The reasons are three: I want to share our worthwhile reads with anyone who might also be looking for some recommendations, I want to hold myself accountable to you, not just T, and I love children's literature and have fun writing about it. I hope that you've found some of our reading diet appetizing and that you'll enjoy future selections as well.


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Hiznobyuti

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