I’ve mentioned before that we’re a book loving family. Our little girl definitely already has her favourites. But when you are reading the same story for the third time in twenty minutes, knowing that the same request will probably happen the next bedtime, based on precedent over the past three nights, you come to think ‘enough is enough!’. So now we rotate our book stock, if only for parental sanity!
The other day I refreshed the book shelves, meaning that Julia Donaldson’s Monkey Puzzle was back in the bedtime stories pile again. I’d always thought it was one of the more popular ones, so I was confused when our little girl spotted it and rushed over to it, shouting ‘no, No, NO!!’. Even more surprised when she sat down on the carpet, patted the floor and demanded me to ‘sit, sit, sit’, and then proceeded to turn the pages in rapt fascination.
And then I remembered. The ‘no, no, no’ bit is a recurring line throughout the book as the butterfly tries to reunite the young monkey with his mum. It had been weeks, maybe even months since we’d last read the book together. Even so, just seeing the front cover had obviously brought back a rush of memories and excitement for my little girl. It gave me such a lovely feeling, watching her at that moment.
Today is World Book Day, and what finer way to start than with a little light reading? As expected, that was totally fine with our little one, who has recently gotten into the habit of waking up, calling for us from her cot, and then once she been lifted out demanding ‘story, story’ before we can even change her nappy! As two current favourites, Julia Donaldson’s Monkey Puzzle and Cuddle by Beth Shoshan and Jacqueline East were, of course, on the reading pile. I’ve also recently added a couple of new ones to the shelves – The Magic Beach by Alison Lester, and Millie’s Marvellous Hat by Satoshi Kitamura. In a rare treat for me – as most parents who read with their children will understand – I am still relishing the newness of these books, having not yet entirely memorised them from endless repetition. So they were my choices for the morning!
My own reading is taking a bit of an intellectual back seat at the moment. I’d been wading through The Goldfinch, which is the incredibly long, wonderfully written, but soul crushingly depressing 2014 Pulitzer Prize winner by Donna Tartt. Note the past tense, because frankly, I got a third of the way through (at around 300 pages!) and just couldn’t face anymore. Too sad, too slow, and as I am reading for pleasure rather than intellectual merit these days, quite honestly, just not gratifying enough! So in total backlash I’ve just started C’est Modnifique: Adventures of an English Grump in rural France, by Ian Moore. It’s not a Pulitizer Prize contender; it doesn’t pretend to be. But it is a welcome opportunity for escapism, a thoroughly enjoyable read so far, and I am wanting to find the time to read on. And after all, isn’t that what reading should be all about?
Are you reading anything at the moment – to little people or for your own enjoyment? Or is there a book that you’ve recently finished and just couldn’t put down? I’d love to hear your World Book Day recommendations.