She had discovered a door to access millions of worlds through BOOKS.
Humblet and I go to the library once a week on average. At the beginning, she completely ignored the books and used the shelves for walking practice. Over time, she got familiar and begin pushing all the books deeper into or further out onto the floor, much to her mother's dismay and the "tsk tsk-ing" of librarians. Then, when she got more sociable, she started peering over other kids shoulders as they did their reading; or even pulling them away from their books to play with her.
Last month, she woke up one morning and the first thing she did was to grab a book and motion for me to read it. The annoying part was that she wanted me to name every single animal on the page which had only five words and she wanted to turn the pages at her own speed; regardless of whether I was done reading. But hey, she wanted to read! That was good enough for me, the discipline involved in reading
With this new interest, getting ready for nap time and bed time has become so much better on my back. No more carrying and rocking. No more singing and dancing. I select 3-4 titles from our finds at the library (you can borrow up to 8 per member) and motion for her to lie down. She climbs onto her mattress and motions for me to come sit next to her. She has become rather instructive with her index finger and insistent voice, but that's for another blog post. Then we begin to read together, I read aloud while she points or makes funny actions. Sometimes, we read the same book three times. At other times, we read four different stories before she ready.
How do I know she's ready?
Well, with each story, her tiny body squirms lower and lower. At first, she sits cross-legged and upright on the mattress. As the story progresses, she begins leaning her back against the wall, then she slumps into a ball on my thigh and finally turns and places her head on her pillow with thumb in mouth. We quickly read the last story to its 'the end' and I let her roll around a bit until she's sound asleep.
Meal times have also been extended, how useful when you're at yet another wedding or a huge family gathering; where the meal time never ends. Certainly, I can't expect her to go on for another hour or so. But it has earned us another fifteen to thirty minutes of sit-down time. Any parent can tell you that that is an awfully long time for a one-year-old.
Humblet and I have a few of our favourites to share if you'd like to go beyond Dear Zoo and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Here are a few titles Mya really enjoy reading and the best part is that she can slide and flip on her own for ages! Definitely planning to invest in a few.
1. Yusuke Yonezu
I've learnt that this author has a huge series of interactive children's board books that have been translated from Japanese to English and Mandarin. So I can find her books in both sections, which i wonderful since Mya loves flipping these fun books with clever cut outs and finger holes.
Here are her two top favourites, she still goes for them when we're at the library although we've already borrowed them several times.
2. Taro Gomi
Somehow, these Japanese author / illustrators have a way with simple board books. Perhaps it has to do with their obsession for practical yet clever inventions. Or just their love for puzzles, like origami.
Taro Gomi is a huge hit with the older kids as well! Finger play and silly pictures of poop never fail to amuse any child.
3. First Stories
Another popular series is this Pull and Slide series by First Stories. Again, they are all board books so I leave them with her without having to worry about torn pages etc. This series is brand new and more stories are still in the works. Her favourite so far is the Little Red Riding Hood, but I thought Jack and the Beanstalk, as well as the Nutcracker, were beautifully illustrated as well.
These are my favourites, and I still love them even after reading them just about thirty times or so maybe?
1. The Gruffalo Series
The Gruffalo is so fun to read aloud! Different characters and movements for you to do funny voice overs. For older kids, the series has a whole industry online where you can download songs, colouring pages and really so much more.
2. The Crocodile Who Didn't Like Water
Make sure you read to see the twist at the end!
3. Little Blue Truck Series
Who doesn't love a book with a great moral of the story? I loved the rest of the books in the series as well, but the orginal Little Blue Truck is still my favourite. Sequels are never really as good as the original.
Hope your kids love reading too!
Have a restful weekend!
Off to read,