Yesterday my mother in law made my day. She is downsizing and showed up with two boxes full of books for the girls.
We are a huge fan of books around here.
The girls and I love to read and one of my husbands favorite things is to be read to.
If there is clutter around our home, you’ll mostly find it as piles of books. Books Sunny was reading to the dog, books Annie was reading to her babies, books in a bag for the daily ride to/from school, books on nightstands, books in duffel bags for sleep overs, books in purses, books on kindles, books on nooks…and, now I sound like Dr. Seuss, who happens to be Annie’s favorite author!
We always have library fines and Sunny always has, despite our 5-books-home-from-school-rule, at least 2 stacks of books on the floor next to her bed.
Perhaps all the reading I did as they were forming limbs and tickling my insides while pregnant has led them to this awesome healthy habit, or perhaps it was the hours of reading per day as they were wee ones. Nonetheless, it’s a habit we happily support.
One of their favorite activities is to build nests (evident in the piles of blankets and pillows you find anywhere and everywhere in our house) to read in. One can’t actually R-E-A-D properly, you know, unless one is entirely comfortable with provisions such as water bottles, popcorn and buddies close by.
If my husband and I are reading to them, they either work quietly with beeswax, do some crayoning or knit-in a nest, of course. But there is this other magical thing that happens in that they become mesmerized by the movement of our lips as we form the words and our voices strain into the 97th minute of reading. We’ll quickly catch them in that trance like state of staring intently in wonder as the pictures they create dance in their minds.
Those are my favorite moments.
To create more favorite moments for you I thought I’d share a list of our family favorite books for kids.
I’ve never loved the idea of media for kids, so media driven characters and images are a no go at our house. That goes with (most) Disney like characters as well. There is nothing I hate more than weak story line, which is what I find to be the case in most of those books.
No violence. For some reason, old school books portraying the game of Cops ‘n’ Robbers and Cowboys ‘n’ Indians don’t depict the same images and behavior as do the hunt ’em down and shoot ’em up story lines I see available.
Language-I believe our kids don’t need to hear the words Dumb and Stupid being used regularly in a story. What they hear, they repeat. If the story is too fresh or cheeky, we put it down and choose another. If we see the word Hate coming up in a sentence, we quickly change it to Dislike or something less harsh.
Beauty-if there are pictures I want them to be wholesome and loving. I want them to depict warmth and creativity, to spark aliveness and compassion.
For the non-readers:
Books by Gerda Muller, Sandra Boynton, Margaret Wise Brown, Robert McCloskey,
For read-aloud story books:
Books by Elsa Beskow, Maj Lindman, Jan Brett, Thornton W. Burgess, Sibylle von Olfers, James Herriott
Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
Grandfather Twilight by Barbara Berger
Winter’s Child by Mary Whittington
Pumpkin Moonshine by Tasha Tudor
The Big Snow by Berta and Elmer Hader
The Mitten by Alvin Tresselt
The Tomten by Astrid Lindgren
My First Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Story of Jumping Mouse by John Steptoe
Now that I’ve shared some of our family favorites, what is yours?