The Question of the Week on Multiples and More is about your children’s favorite books.
I’ve blogged several times about the evolution of our bookshelf…I’ve learned that what holds the girls’ attention definitely changes over time...and sometimes it takes some experimentation to figure out what volumes to dust off next.
When the girls were infants, for example, they sat through at least a couple of John Grisham books – anything to fill the hours of “awake time” every day.
And then at some point I found myself buying time with Cheerios while the girls sat in their highchairs and I read the likes of Alice in Wonderland.
During the girls’ entire first year, and through the first couple of months of their second year, my reading fell on seemingly deaf ears. I persevered, hoping that hearing my animated voice, at least on some level, was beneficial for the girls.
It was such a feeling of joy when I finally discovered the girls loved picture books, when they were 13 or 14 months old. That was about the time that they really started adding to their vocabulary of baby sign language. And although I wouldn’t call it “reading” per se, they loved to look through books and point out different animals and objects.
Over a period of three or four months, it was so amazing when those picture books very gradually turned into short stories. At last, we were really “reading” again…and this time, the girls actually seemed to be following me…without being tied down and bribed with breakfast cereal!
These days, the girls’ attention spans continue to increase (relatively speaking, and if I time it right!). We still scan through some books quickly, looking at pictures, but more and more they’re content to listen to longer story lines. I’m loving it!
Curious George is a huge favorite with the girls right now. We have two big compilations of adventures, each with eight or 10 stories, and they also have several small board books.
The girls also love Mother Goose rhymes. With very little prompting, they can probably recite 10 or 12 already!
We also enjoy our fair share of alphabet books. I know it’s just memorization at this point, but the girls can name at least five words that start with every letter of the alphabet (although sometimes I have to break into my sing-song animated voice to prompt them, “Big O, little o, what begins with O?” …and they sometimes confuse owls with ostriches, but I think they’ll figure it out in due time).
At bedtime, we have a handful of favorites that we cycle through each week…Guess How Much I Love You, Have You Seen My Purr?, Love Is a Handful of Honey, Bunny’s Noisy Book. There are many nights when the girls seem to love the familiar cadence, knowing every word on the page. Other nights, when they’re a bit more restless, I can challenge them to find something new on every page, and we can usually spot a grasshopper or mushroom or something we haven’t discussed before.
I still have all my books from when I was a child. I’ve shared them only sparingly over the past year, though, since the girls can reach out and touch as quick as lightning strikes.
I am looking forward to sharing more of the same stories my mom read me – especially the Raggedy Ann and Andy series, and the many adventures of Uncle Wiggly, which really stand out in my childhood memory bank.
I’m trying to be patient, though, both for the girls’ attention spans to increase, as well as for those roving hands to stay more securely tucked in their laps.