Share it Sundays – Our favourite books

Share it Sundays – Our favourite books

If you’re a follower of this blog, you’ll know how much we like books and reading in this house. Elliot has been enjoying a daily bedtime story (or two, or three occasionally!) since he was only a month or so old, and Alexander regularly joins in now we’re establishing a proper night routine for him too.

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Some of our favourite books at the moment are:

Winnie the Pooh– these are a firm favourite here, and Daddy normally has to read a chapter every night. Elliot especially likes the chapter headings, and recently I’ve heard him making up similar phrases himself “Chapter 9, in which Auntie Jen comes for tea…”

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Biff, Chip and Kipper books– Elliot loves his “biff chipper” books, and these have really helped him learn to read. He’s only 3 and is already able to read many of the books we have. Elliot really loves the mazes and games in the books too.

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Green Eggs and Ham– this is a recent addition to our bookshelves in an attempt to get the variety of food to extend beyond fish fingers and spaghetti shapes! Elliot loves the rhyming nature of the book and can read most of it himself already.

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The Church Mice series– the tales of Samson the cat and Arthur and Humphrey the mice. Elliot loves these books (nearly as much as Daddy!)

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Thomas the Tank Engine– we have a HUGE number of Thomas books, and Elliot loves to add to his collection whenever we pass a bookshop. This one was a life saver on a rainy weekend in a caravan last year – it’s a wonderful selection of stickers and games, which we all enjoyed. I’m seriously tempted to buy a second one for our next holiday!

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I’m linking up to Oh So Amelia for Share it Sunday, which promises to be an exciting series of link ups which I’m really looking forward to following. Click here to see other favourite children’s books…

ohsoamelia

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The reading bug

The reading bug

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I heard a comment on the radio today that said that a third of children under the age of 7 never have a bed time story read to them, and of the ones that do have stories read to them, only 13% have them read to them every night. On further investigation there are several articles on this of which this one in The Guardian is one.

Now, I’m most certainly not claiming that we are super parents. We definitely take shortcuts, or easy routes, on so many things – from letting Elliot watch episode upon episode of Thomas, or giving up too soon each time we try to get him to eat any recognisable vegetable, and giving in too often when he asks for a new engine, or an ice cream. But, one thing we do do, religiously, is read to him EVERY night, pretty much without fail. We’ve done this since he was about 3 or 4 months old.

I see it as one of the most important things any parent can do. It is a wonderful thing to see a child interested in and gripped by a story – Elliot definitely has his favourites, and these change frequently. We’re currently reading quite a few books about new babies, and becoming a big brother (for obvious reasons!) He is able to recognise many words by sight, and can recount many books himself – especially ones like The Gruffalo!

I can’t imagine a childhood without books. I remember the joy of reading, and devouring book after book once i could read by myself. Maybe its this that makes me certain that spending time reading to Elliot should be at the top of our priority list each evening rather than tidying/hoovering/watching TV. it really saddens me that so many children don’t experience this.

Imagination is so important to a growing child, as is having the ability to empathise with others – these are two things that reading teaches without us having to really get involved.

The other reason I think reading every day is a good idea is that much debated subject among mummy-types: the routine. Having a set bedtime routine since Elliot was very tiny, regardless of the highs and lows of the day, has meant that we have had a child that 99% of the time sleeps right through and wakes happy and excited to start his day. Again, I don’t claim to be any sort of expert, but for us it seemed common sense that if our little man had the same bedtime cues each evening – bath, milk, stories, bed – that he’d soon realise what these meant and we’d have a child that went to bed easily. Ok so it doesn’t always work, and we do occasionally have tears and tantrums, but he knows the routine, and we just follow it through regardless of any tantrums and we end up with a child in bed, mostly before 8, and then an evening to ourselves. I really do think that reading every night has helped with that.

Elliot now happily sits and “reads” by himself, and some of his favourite trips are to the library or the book shop to choose new books to bring home.

Secretly I’m hoping that the Pirate Pete Potty Book, and Charlie and Lola: I Will Not Ever Never Eat A Tomato, will go some way to helping us with our current challenges in other areas of parenting – after all, books are magic!

Watch this space…

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The Book List 2013

Dear Elliot,

One of my favourite things at the moment is how much you love books. You can happily sit and amuse yourself looking at books on your own, and can tell us the titles of most of the Thomas books we own (quite a few!)

Elliot reading

I, on the other hand, have done less reading in the past two years than at any point in my life. Funnily enough, I don’t class repeated “I have this little sister, Lola..” or “Thomas was a Really Useful Engine” as particularly stretching literature at the age of 32.

Thankfully your grandparents came up with a brilliant idea to get me back into my reading habit and I’m now the proud owner of a Kindle. This means I now need a book list.

Looking on several lists that other like-minded bloggers have created  (see the lovely Aimee over at More than Toast who is an inspiration in herself) and those compiled by the powers that be dictating the “Top 100 books to read before you die”, I’ve come up with a slightly shorter list for myself, but would love recommendations to add to it (I’m already a book and a half down don’t you know!)

  1. The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
  2. The Illiad – Homer (and The Odyssey)
  3. Enders Game – Orson Scott Card
  4. Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
  5. Ghost World – Daniel Claves
  6. On the Road – Jack Kerouac
  7. Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
  8. Beloved – Toni Morrison
  9. Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace
  10. To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
  11. The Island – Victoria Hislop
  12. When God was a Rabbit – Sarah Winman
  13. The Outcast – Sadie Jones
  14. The Man in the Picture – Susan Hill
  15. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Schaffer + Anne Barrows
  16. The Sea, The Sea – Iris Murdoch
  17. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
  18. Her Fearful Symmetry – Audrey Niffenegger
  19. Hangover Square – Patrick Hamilton
  20. The Book Thief – Marcus Zusac
  21. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith
  22. When You Reach Me – Rebecca Stead
  23. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  24. A Million Little Pieces – James Frey
  25. Enduring Love – Ian McEwan
  26. Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
  27. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
  28. The End of the Affair – Graham Greene
  29. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius – Dave Eggers
  30. The Glass Castle – Jeanette Walls
  31. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
  32. The Women’s Room – Marilyn French
  33. Love Virtually – Daniel Glattauer
  34. The Other Half of Me – Morgan McCarthy
  35. Catching the Sun – Tony Parsons
  36. Delirium – Lauren Oliver
  37. Miracle on Regent Street – Ali Harris 
  38. The Distant Hours  – Kate Morton
  39. Sister – Rosamund Lupton
  40. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time – Yasutaka Tsutsui
  41. Saturday – Ian McEwen
  42. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
  43. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
  44. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis de Bernieres
  45. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne
  46. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
  47. Small Island – Andrea Levy
  48. A Ladies Paradise – Emile Zola (in French?)
  49. My Dear, I Wanted To Tell You – Louisa Young
  50. The Wierd Sisters – Eleanor Brown
  51. The Master – Colm Toibin
  52. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

So that’s one per week of 2013 which is highly unlikely to be accomplished, but we can but try. I’ve tried to get a big variety of styles and authors in there whilst also including some books which quite frankly have been on my “to be read” shelves long enough I just need to get on with it.

And, Elliot, don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll find plenty of time to introduce you to the wonderful worlds within lots of books this year. It really won’t be long before you’re reading all on your own. I can’t wait!

The Book List 2013

Dear Elliot,

One of my favourite things at the moment is how much you love books. You can happily sit and amuse yourself looking at books on your own, and can tell us the titles of most of the Thomas books we own (quite a few!)

Elliot reading

I, on the other hand, have done less reading in the past two years than at any point in my life. Funnily enough, I don’t class repeated “I have this little sister, Lola..” or “Thomas was a Really Useful Engine” as particularly stretching literature at the age of 32.

Thankfully your grandparents came up with a brilliant idea to get me back into my reading habit and I’m now the proud owner of a Kindle. This means I now need a book list.

Looking on several lists that other like-minded bloggers have created  (see the lovely Aimee over at More than Toast who is an inspiration in herself) and those compiled by the powers that be dictating the “Top 100 books to read before you die”, I’ve come up with a slightly shorter list for myself, but would love recommendations to add to it (I’m already a book and a half down don’t you know!)

  1. The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
  2. The Illiad – Homer (and The Odyssey)
  3. Enders Game – Orson Scott Card
  4. Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
  5. Ghost World – Daniel Claves
  6. On the Road – Jack Kerouac
  7. Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
  8. Beloved – Toni Morrison
  9. Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace
  10. To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
  11. The Island – Victoria Hislop
  12. When God was a Rabbit – Sarah Winman
  13. The Outcast – Sadie Jones
  14. The Man in the Picture – Susan Hill
  15. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Schaffer + Anne Barrows
  16. The Sea, The Sea – Iris Murdoch
  17. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
  18. Her Fearful Symmetry – Audrey Niffenegger
  19. Hangover Square – Patrick Hamilton
  20. The Book Thief – Marcus Zusac
  21. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith
  22. When You Reach Me – Rebecca Stead
  23. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  24. A Million Little Pieces – James Frey
  25. Enduring Love – Ian McEwan
  26. Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
  27. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
  28. The End of the Affair – Graham Greene
  29. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius – Dave Eggers
  30. The Glass Castle – Jeanette Walls
  31. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
  32. The Women’s Room – Marilyn French
  33. Love Virtually – Daniel Glattauer
  34. The Other Half of Me – Morgan McCarthy
  35. Catching the Sun – Tony Parsons
  36. Delirium – Lauren Oliver
  37. Miracle on Regent Street – Ali Harris 
  38. The Distant Hours  – Kate Morton
  39. Sister – Rosamund Lupton
  40. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time – Yasutaka Tsutsui
  41. Saturday – Ian McEwen
  42. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
  43. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
  44. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis de Bernieres
  45. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne
  46. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
  47. Small Island – Andrea Levy
  48. A Ladies Paradise – Emile Zola (in French?)
  49. My Dear, I Wanted To Tell You – Louisa Young
  50. The Wierd Sisters – Eleanor Brown
  51. The Master – Colm Toibin
  52. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

So that’s one per week of 2013 which is highly unlikely to be accomplished, but we can but try. I’ve tried to get a big variety of styles and authors in there whilst also including some books which quite frankly have been on my “to be read” shelves long enough I just need to get on with it.

And, Elliot, don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll find plenty of time to introduce you to the wonderful worlds within lots of books this year. It really won’t be long before you’re reading all on your own. I can’t wait!