Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Doing my best to raise a bookworm

One of my favorite things to shop for for Donovan are books. I keep a list of books that I hear about, and have to restrain myself b/c otherwise I'd spend all our money on kids books and as it is we're starting to run out of storage space for them.

I've tried to read to him starting as a newborn. It didn't always happen, especially since he didn't always seem that interested in listening to the story. But I still tried to always have books on hand-- I'd prop open a big board book so he could look at the pictures during tummy time, for example. And I'll always remember the time I sat him down on my lap to read him a story, and instead of looking at the pictures as I'd expected, he craned his neck around so he could watch my face as I read.

In the past few months Donovan's started getting his own books out and flipping through the pages, and in the past week or 2 has started bringing me books to read to him-- he now does this several times a day, and sometimes when I finish reading he'll grab the book and give it back to me again so I'll read it again. I sometimes get tired of reading the same book 4 times over in one sitting, but I LOVE that he is so interested in books, and that we are helping foster a future love of reading.

After reading this posting I thought I'd take a moment to list out Donovan's favorite books (since he has favorites now!) along with some of the books he doesn't appreciate quite as much yet, but I hope he will soon.

Donovan's favorites:

And some of my own favorites from his collection:

We're focusing more on the board books for now since he likes to turn the pages and play with the books themselves, though occasionally (like at bedtime) I'll also grab one of his paper books and read them to him. But those stay out of reach more, until he can learn to be careful enough with them.

And since I'm always on the look out for books to add to our wishlist, I'd love to hear others' favorite books!


  1. Woo hoo for bookworms! R is reading up a storm and I'm so proud of her.

    We had a Winnie the Pooh touch-and-feel book that I read so much I memorized it. I don't remember the title, but it was the one where Pooh gets stuck in Rabbit's door. It had textured bits that R loved.

    Have you found your local library yet? We get tons of books from there.

  2. take it from someone who has been there, it's much better to get them hooked on television - which will cause you to have to tend to them less, but also allows them to find a hobby they can literally grow up with.

  3. Julie Merberg's art books are our favorites. Take a look on them..:)

  4. We're huge Goodnight Moon fans as well. The Sandra Boynton books are big favorites as well. Especially Moo, Ba, LaLaLa and All the Hippos Go Berserk. Reading is one of my favorite things to do with my little H.

  5. Jackie4:24 PM My favorite was definitely Owl Babies. In fact just today I was in Marshalls with my now 18 yr old and they had a little wooden sculpture of three owls and I reminded her about the Owl Babies book and she still remembers it.

  6. We love Goodnight Moon as well, so I was excited to find another Margaret Wise Brown board book at the library. Big Red Barn has the same soft soothing rhythm as Goodnight Moon but it follows animals on the farm as they get ready for bed. As our copy goes back to the library, I'll be buying one to keep!

  7. jessica9:21 AM

    i recently read a great book by an Australian children's book writer, and literacy advocate. i thought this book would end up being a waste. like, what could she possibly tell me about reading to my kid??

    i LOVED the book and am making jon read it. it's full of great ideas, and some common sense stuff that i probably never would've thought about.

    one thing she says is that if a kid loves one particular book and wants you to read it 20 times, that is the best thing that can happen. it means he loves reading, and sooner or later, he'll grow into a more complex book.

    p.s. another thing she recommended doing later if the grandparents live far away (i totally want to try doing this with french books for jon's parents. you some brownie points!) is to get the kid reading aloud (when he's there) and reading the story into a tape recorder, then sending the story to the grandparents. then they can do the same and he can listen!

    she had some tips about that process, and how to make it fun, not like a "lesson" that i thought were invaluable.

  8. We like a lot of the ones you mentioned, plus anything by Sandra Boynton, the "Duck" books by Jez Alborough, Maisy books by Lucy Cousins (especially ones with flaps--Finn loves to lift the flaps!) and for bedtime we really like (in addition to Goodnight Moon and the Big Red Barn) Time for Bed by Mem Fox, and On the Day you Were Born, by, oh, I forget.

  9. So many books I already love! Owl Babies, anything by Mo Willems, Sandra Boynton, Doreen Cronin!
    When my kids started reading at 4 years old I had a lot of people asking me how I "taught" them to read! HA! All we did was read to them! And read ourselves. We definitely have a book house! Now they are 6 and 8 and reading all on their own. But that doesn't mean we don't get together as a family every night and read a story to them. It's my favorite time of day! Now we read chapter books, Authors like Joan Aiken, Blume and Tolkien and great new titles like the Mysterious Benedict Society, Frindle and Melon Head. KEEP READING!

  10. Anonymous3:45 AM

    Good for you, bookworms are awesome!!! My son is now 19 and never without a book. He has been that way all his life. Loves to read, and extremely intelligent because of it. We always made sure that books were important. Books were always given as gifts for both birthdays and Christmas. Even "Santa" always gave books. We also made good use of the library. They have lots of books that you can try out and if he especially likes one, you can later buy it. Also, the library usually has "story times" that can make reading fun. We went to the library at least once a week for years and now it is a first choice resource for information. I will never forget the year that I did not buy my son a book for Christmas, (he was about 15). He said "Mom, it just doesn't seem like Christmas because I don't have anything new to read." I have not done that again, even though I am not sure what kinds of books he is into any more. Now I give him gift cards from Best of Books in Edmond or Barnes and Noble. You can't go wrong instilling a love of reading in your child.

  11. You'll be so proud as the book list grows with him. I raised 5 readers - the same as you, we never went through a day without reading something as they were growing up - all teens or grown now and they often can throw down a great novel in a few days to a week around here! Congratulations!
    We spent many days at a store called they have outlets, but are online too - they have new books and gently used books - they buy them back too - so you can keep your favorites as keepsakes and continue to apply the credits towards new books.

  12. We also are readers trying to get our boys to appreciate books as much as we do. Usborne has a great series of books that are touchy feely board books. Like, "That's Not My Dinosaur" Check them out at www/

  13. Rudd Family Circus-- We have 3 books from the Usborne series, I LOVE them!! I forgot to mention those, but every time I see new ones at the bookstore I have to resist the urge to buy them all. =P

  14. Are you familiar with Barefoot Books? Barefoot is an independent publisher of truly unique and beautiful books for children. If you have a chance, take a look at my website. We are a book family...and these are books we couldn't live without!

  15. Great posts and so many amazing comments (except for that tv, are you for real?!?) so far. Ditto on the library and story time for us, but some of the ones that get pulled off the bookshelf by my 15 month old daughter day in and day out are: Peek a Who, There's a Wocket in my Pocket, The Way I Feel (my personal fave of the bunch), The Itsy Bitsy Spider, and lately she is all about Pat the Bunny. Still her all time favorite is Down in the Woods at Sleepytime. We pretty much have to read this to her every night and have had to since she was about 6 months old. A couple months ago I found some finger puppets that looked like the animals in the book and since then bedtime isn't over until we read it and act out their actions with the puppets.

  16. Anne Marie6:45 PM

    I just bought a book written by a woman I know - Pam Allyn - called "What to Read When." It is an incredible resource for parents. It gives you an idea what's age appropriate (either for read aloud or for your child to read) and suggests books appropriate for certain situations (the death of a loved one, divorce, etc.). It's a wonderful book!



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