"What age should your child be when you begin reading to them?" This question was asked by my college professor as I sat in my Elementary Education reading class. Anyone who stated an age older than birth flunked, according to this expert.
If you visit my house, you will see that I took this advice to heart. We are bibliophiles--we love books. There are bookshelves in every bedroom and my children have their own book collections with inscriptions commemorating various birthdays and other celebrations.
One of my favorite memories is of my three daughters, ages 2, 7 and 10, sitting in a row on the couch after a trip to the library. I was fixing dinner and they were totally engrossed in their "new" books. They each had their stack of books and they pored through them one by one. It is a cute memory but more importantly, I am delighted that my kids still love books.
As my kids have grown older, and it is time to part with books that are too young for them, we have kept some favorites. We have such great memories or our read aloud times. Grand kids will be here before I know it and I know I'll want to read to them.
Picture books for really young children are my favorite baby gift. Young moms are usually surprised to get a book in with the booties and bottles. I've learned that those little board books with colorful photoes will soon become a favorite toy. Even if the babies are gnawing on the books, I still think something important is conveyed about books and reading.
I read recently that a Museum of Picture Book Art compiled this list of the top-10 children's picture books:
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
- The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
- Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
- Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne
- Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
- Madeline by Ludwig Bemellmanus
- Frederick by Leo Lionni
- Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt
- Curious George by H. A. Rey
If you go to http://realsimple.com/kidsbooks you see illustrations from these classics.
Giving children the gift of books early is important, whether they are enjoying them through the sound of your voice or they are able to sit up and look at them, books are treasures.
Did any of the top ten books listed above make your family favorites list? Leave a comment and tell us your picks.