Monday, July 27, 2009

Reading with Toddler: A World of Exploration and Humor

It is such an incredible treat to spend time with Sarah and to see the world through her eyes. It wasn't until I had Sarah and started to watch and see her develop that I realized the amazing things she sees and learns that I can appreciate and take great part in. This is especially true when time is spent with her reading. As an avid reader myself I enjoy the time she and I read together helping her to foster an appreciation for something Daniel and I have great passion.

For the past 18 months, there have been many favorite books that we have read and continue to read together. Some are still favorites while others have moved on. One particularly favorite author is Todd Parr who we were turned on to by friends whose children also enjoyed reading his work. One book, "Underwear Do's and Don'ts" in our household has become the "do" book to which Sarah often requests. It tells you all the things you should do with underwear and all the things, most of which are silly, that you should not do. Yes. I know this sounds strange but there are some good lessons Parr offers along with his bright, robust designs and colors that make it a joy for reading.

Another particular favorite, "Good Night, Gorilla," was a find I came across at a children's swap meet. When I first saw it I was less interested in it as a bedtime book but instead for its oversized nature as Sarah loves to turn the pages of board books. Well, I am pleased to report that Sarah indeed loves this book, turning its large pages, and reading it before bedtime. The best part about it is that she has developed some hilarious expressions when reading it. I can't say "gasping," for example, would be a word or expression we would have taught this early on but this book helped to reinforce it. Sometimes, it is tough to read this book at night with out me laughing. The expressions and animal sounds Sarah makes are priceless. And, the lady in the book, with what I thought at first had scary eyes, gets Sarah so happy and excited and exasperated.

All in all, reading is a journey that many should enjoy with their kids how ever much or little you can do makes a great difference. I look forward to the many, many new authors, educational retreats and funny reads that will grace our lives in the years to come and the many journeys with words and pictures that we will take together.

Happy reading!!!

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