Stop, Drop Everything, and Read (to your kids)

I admit, I have a problem. I am an addict.

A book addict.

I read them, I collect them, I hoard them. My problem is so deep that when I get a new book, I pick it up and smell it.

That’s right. I’m a book smeller.

Last night I was reading a new book to my 5 year old, she leaned over, put her nose in the book and said, “smells like a new book!”

People, I have passed on my addiction to my child. And I am THRILLED.

I am thrilled for a lot of reasons. One, reading gives me a lot of joy and I want to pass that on to my kids. Two, I have an excuse to go to the bookstore on an even more frequent basis, and three, there is no better way to support your kids and their future academic success than reading to them.

That’s the secret, people! It is as simple as that: reading aloud to your kids is the single most important thing you can do as a parent to get them on the right academic path. That’s right. Just read aloud to your kids (no math involved!).

Now, I’m not saying reading aloud to your kids is going to turn them into the next Albert Einstein, which is evident by the fact that my child wants to be a pony when she grows up, but it helps them out.

For me, it’s easy. I’ve always loved books so reading to my kids has not been a difficult activity to insert into our family routine. It is to the point that we need to negotiate HOW MANY books will be read, not IF books will be read, at bedtime.

Often times I walk into SJ’s room and, when she’s not dumping all the clothes out of her drawers, she is sitting in the middle of her room, surrounded by a pile of books. She’s busy “reading” them to herself, sometimes with the book upside down. I don’t correct her. I just quietly back out of the room (lest I disturb the beast).

In the mornings when I am getting Mahlie up, there is more often than not a pile of books next to her bed that wasn’t there when I put her to bed the night before.

This makes me extremely happy. This makes my husband extremely happy that we have no plans to move because he can’t imagine shleping that amount of boxes filled with books again.

So, what to read to your kids? Whatever grabs their interest. It may not be what YOU would like to read (ugh to Barbie books), but that is not the point.

Right now we’ve got quite the stack going, so if you want some suggestions (click on the book picture for Barnes and Noble order information).

1.Once Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for All the Letters

Sweets loves this book of fun alphabet inspired short stories. They are a bit kooky and crazy- just like her! Oliver Jeffers is also one of MY favorite children’s authors, so this choice may have been somewhat encouraged.

2. The Adventures of Pippi LongstockingWhat kids hasn’t dreamed of being able to live on their own and do whatever they want? Sweets is now determined to have a pet horse live in our garage. Pippi is a bit kooky and crazy- just like…wait, do you sense a theme here? There aren’t a lot of pictures, but Mahlie likes to “make the pictures in [her] brain”.

3. My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Through the MirrorMahlie is OB-sessed with anything My Little Pony, especially Twilight Sparkle and Princess Celestria. She’s wants to kiss and marry them. So we are reading this chapter book at night before bed AND she’s taking it to school and having older kids read it to her at her before/aftercare program which I think is AWESOME.

4. Julia's House for Lost CreaturesMahlie seems to like stories about girls living without her parents, even though she tells me every day that she is going to “live with [me] forever!!” In this wonderfully illustrated story, a girls moves her house to the ocean on the back of a turtle, and after being bored alone, puts out a sign for last creatures. Mahlie loves the magical creatures that find their way to her house, including a music loving troll and a dish washing mermaid.

You’ll notice that there are very different reading levels represented here. I don’t limit what books she should get. If she is interested in a chapter book with no pictures that is fine, I will read it to her. If she wants a picture book with few words, I will encourage her to read familiar words to me. If she wants picture books with no words, I will make up the story with her. ANYTHING to encourage reading. I will never say no to a book.

Oh, yes- SJ. She is getting more into books now, too. It helps that she always sees her sister reading/being read to. What’s in her book pile?

1. Moosey Moose

This is SJ’s MOST FAVORITE book. All about a very mad moose because he doesn’t have his long pants. If you ask Sarah, “what’s wrong with Moosey Moose?” she will answer, “Moosey MAAAAAD!” It is adorable. (in the video, when asked what moosey wants, SJ respond’s “long pants”, for those of you that do not speak her language, which happens to be her version of English).

2.The Artist Who Painted a Blue HorseAny book that has animals is a SJ favorite. I particularly like this one, and it’s been passed down from Mahlie, who will now read it to SJ. I love that.

There are many other books on her shelves, but these are the 2 that get read over, and over, and over.

I myself have made a goal to read more this year. I most certainly will read many kids books, but I mean ADULT books. (And by adult books I don’t mean porn DAVE, just to clarify). Last year according to my Goodreads challenge I fell way below my goal. Like waaaaay below. Like, I am spending way too much time watching ellentube video’s behind. I have given myself the goal of 40 books this year, so here’s to putting down the iPhone and picking up a book! On my bookshelf I have:

1. I am still trying to figure out what the zebra and lion have to do with the story. Not there yet, I suppose.Lucky Us (Signed Book)2. I hope different things happen and I don’t just get confused and think I am reading the same chapter over and over again. Don’t laugh- it happens.The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August3. I am intrigued by post-apocalypse books. Seriously, doesn’t everyone have a zombie plan? (note: this book is not about zombies, but a troupe of roving Shakespearean actors. Okay, wait, that might be the same thing for some of you).Station ElevenHappy reading everyone, and have a great crazy day!



2 thoughts on “Stop, Drop Everything, and Read (to your kids)

  1. Popping in from the Martinis and Minivans share on FB. I just have to say I love Amy Bloom. Have you read Away? Station 11 is on my list and I’d never heard of the First 15 Lives book. I’ll have to check it out!

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