Well, sorry for the break but I've not been quite my usual self so blogging got put by the wayside until I had some energy.
I've been thinking about baby gifts, because I have friends who are expecting. Usually I give them copies of books. "Good Night Moon" and "The Runaway Bunny" are most common, but if I know they have those books, any books that catch my eye. I almost always give copies of the cardboard types, so the babies may enjoy the books and mom and dad don't have to worry about torn pages.
I have to admit, I am a bookworm of the first order. My husband has often threatened to leave me if I bring home ONE more book (he hasn't left yet, BTW...). But I do have books and books and books. So do my children. I fully believe that kids have the right to own books, their own books - that they choose, read, mutilate, whatever.
From baby-time on, either my husband or I read nightly to our children. Early on, the books were the traditional - "Pat the Bunny", "Good Night Moon", "The Runaway Bunny". We had bought several of the cardboard-type books at one of the big superstores and the children both loved being read those books and being allowed to "read" them whenever they wanted.
Our eldest caused quite a fuss one night. I was at work and she was demanding that her father read 'hush book' to her. Unfortunately, he hadn't a clue what she meant. He finally called me at work, and I told him that she wanted "Good Night Moon" - her version of the title was due to the fact that I always emphasized the word hush when reading the sentence "...the quiet old lady whispering hush..."
Later on, we wandered into other books. We read Beatrix Potter (and had some beautiful VHS tapes of the books; unfortunately who has VHS any more? We still have the tapes). We read Dr Seuss. I don't know when my children learned to read but I know that it was well before school age. We also belonged, for a while, to one of those "Children's Book of the Month" Clubs and got some very charming books that way. Unfortunately, the children grew but the age of the club's reading material didn't, so eventually we dropped the club.
Books were never forbidden to the children. If they wanted to read them, they could. If they got bored or disliked the book, they put them back. The only requirement was that they handled it with care.
Reading material was never censored, either. Babysitter's Club books (all types), Goosebumps, American Girl, Alcott, Tamara Pierce, Caroline Cooney, Nora Roberts, J.D. Robb, Tolkien, J.K Rowling...whatever they wanted to read, they could. I found new authors from them and they learned new authors from me. We discussed books and events. Fiction, nonfiction, graphic books (there was a period when it seemed we owned every manga book on earth), they were all allowed.
So...reading material. What do you read to your kids? What do you allow them to read? Do you have trouble with getting your kids to read? Do they like to read or hate it?