Book Recommendations, Books

Better than A Valentine

With regard to February 14th celebrations, I choose Read to Your Child Day over Valentine’s Day.

But what if you don’t have a child?

In college, a friend read me her favorite lines from Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt. We were taking a Children’s Literature class. Last year, my friend Katie and I read The Lighthouse Family books aloud to each other. Love of family, friendship, and adventure ooze through the picture books by Cynthia Rylant.

Although my sons are in their thirties, I still search for the best children’s stories—and buy them. My time in bookstores and libraries is spent browsing the children’s section. Most books stacked by my reading chair weren’t written for adults.

A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.

C.S. Lewis

I love the permission I feel from Lewis’s quote. I remember when I didn’t admit I read children’s books. Now I belong to a book club where adults openly share the pleasure.

Do you have someone to read to?

Books, Memories, Parenting

Reading to Readers

When my boys were beginning readers, a mom with children in college expressed a regret.

I wish I had continued reading aloud to my children, even when they were in high school.

Marilyn Rockett, Author of Homeschooling at the Speed of Life

I loved reading to my boys, so it was easy to take Marilyn’s regret to heart that day. During the middle school and high school years, we read together although audio books sometimes were a read-aloud substitute.

I read aloud for the love of sharing my favorite books with my favorite people. I didn’t fully realize we were receiving a heritage of common memories.

This past year, my youngest son called with details of a scene and asked if I remembered the book from fifteen years ago. Of course, I did. How could I forget the memoir Belles on Their Toes by Gilbreth and Carey? I was not surprised that I remembered the last book I read aloud to the entire family, but I was surprised that he did.

It turns out my sons remember even more about our books—not only their plots but where we were at the time they listened.

Any favorite read-aloud memories?