The first post I read this morning was Deanna’s, in which she talked about the evolution of bedtime stories at her house. I just had this exact conversation with a family friend this week, talking about how our girls’ preferences have continued to grow and change. It’s such an interesting evolution to witness!
Since the girls were born, we’ve gone through so many phases with books and reading…
I went from reading great works of literature to them as infants…to finally realizing they wanted to point to pictures, instead of be read to, when they were toddlers.
They’ve chewed books…and cuddled with books…and then peeled the laminate off others.
For this book-loving mama, it’s been quite a ride. I want so desperately for the girls to love to read, as I do. During those times – mostly as toddlers – when they wouldn’t sit still for anything…when they couldn’t be left alone with the most indestructible of texts…I worried.
Finally, when they were about two-and-a-half, I think, they settled into quite the listeners. There were times that I think they would have let me do nothing else all day but read books. While that could be a little tiring, ultimately I was so relieved!
The girls have tons of books. With only a few exceptions, we still have almost all the books they’ve loved since they were tiny. We might read a really simple story, and then sit down for something much more involved.
For a long time, I identified that, as long as there were interesting pictures, the girls were game.
We even have a number of science-oriented books…one on bees…one on butterflies and moths…one on snakes and reptiles…one on animals of Asia. For Easter they got books on volcanoes and planet earth. The headiest one they have is on the solar system. It’s amazing to me that the girls often request those books. I know at least some of the concepts are over their heads, but they seem to love them nonetheless.
What’s been the biggest surprise lately, though, is how they’ve taken to my classic Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy books. Each story is five or six pages long…but those are mostly single-spaced…and there are very few pictures. The pictures in the book I have are mostly black and white line drawings, with a simple color one now and again.
It’s been such a delight for me to share these stories with my girls…ones I remember from my childhood…to have them request a Raggedy Ann story over a new book with glossy pictures.
And it’s let me know they’re not just looking at pictures. They’re listening and following and retaining information.
Hooray for evolution!!! And – in this case – hooray for harkening back to the old days of Mommy’s childhood, too.
Next up? I’m thinking Little House!!!