Thursday, June 28, 2012

What We Are Reading

"What kind of books does a brilliant family read to their toddler?"  This is a question that I have been dying to ask of a colleague of mine.  He and is family are all brilliant, no exageration!  Totally, completely off the charts smart.  They homeschool their children who read things like Ronald Reagan's speech writer's autobiography, and do in depth studies of people like Nelson Mandela.  Did I mention that their kids are under the age of 10!

They have a toddler who is just a little younger than Jett.  So I'm dying to ask, what does a crazy smart family read to their baby?  Is "Ten Little Puppies" acceptable literature, or did they dive right in to the Wallstreet Journal? 

I'm reading a book by literary expert Mem Fox who recommends that parents read at least three books a day to their children.  She suggests one favorite, one familiar, and one new, but says even reading the same favorite over, and over, and over again is just as valuable for development.  If all parents followed this philosophy, each child would be read a minimum of 1,095 books a year.  It looks like a huge number, but I think in our house we have probably doubled that just sitting on the potty chair alone.

We've all come to cherish book time.  Jett begs for "book, book" in the morning, on the potty, after I get off work, and again before bed.  It's been fun for me to read some new favorites and old classics again too, as reading time with my mom was among my favorite moments growing up too.

So here's the list of what a totally average, not-so-brilliant family is reading these days:
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
  • Heads, by Matthew Van Fleet - An adorable pop up book that we have ripped nearly all the "heads" off of.
  • My Alphabet Toolbox, by Tim Bugbird
  • Cooper's Big Bear Hug, by Melissa Woo - If you haven't become addicted to Hallmark's Interactive Story Buddies you are missing out. 
  • My Truck is Stuck, by Kevin Lewis and Daniel Kirk - Two of our favorite words all in one book: truck and stuck.
  • Little Blue Truck, by Alice Schertle - Three of our favorite words: blue, truck and stuck.
  • Ten Little Puppies, by Marian Harris - Any book that contains the phrase "No more sausage dogs jumping on the bed," has me hooked!
  • I Love You Through and Through, by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak
  • The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear, by Don and Audrey Wood
  • I Am A Bunny, by Ole Risom, illustrated by Richard Scarry
  • Guess How Much I Love You, by Sam McBratney - I always tear up at this one a bit.  It gets me every time.

And, if I get brave enough to ask, I'll let you know what section of the NY Times is a toddler's favorite.

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