Reading and Children – Share a Story

ShareAStoryLogo-colorToday’s  Share a Story-Shape a Future literacy blog tour explores the personal stories of reading experiences. Here are my responses to the three writing prompts.

1. What is the book from your childhood you can’t wait to share with a child and why?

The book that I can remember most vividly from childhood is The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald. It was a really old book (copyright 1907) that I found in a box my mother had gotten at a garage sale. I remember it was the first time ever reading a book where the author spoke directly to the reader, or at least the imagined reader. Everything about it was magical; the tone, the story, the fancy illustrations. I have to say I was a voracious reader by the time I found this book. I would read piles of books each week. This is one of the few, however, that really stands out all these years later.

I couldn’t wait to share it with my son. I figured he would enjoy the goblins and the adventure aspect of the story. But (at least thus far) he hasn’t had the slightest interest in it at all. I realize now that I found the book at exactly the right time in my life, and it spoke to me. If I had read it earlier or later, I don’t think it would have meant as much. Also, it resonated at a personal level because the princess has a special grandmother and I had a special relationship with my grandmother. It is not surprising my son doesn’t enjoy it. He is a different person and different books hold meaning for him.

2. Who is the person who influenced you most as a reader?

Hands down it was my mother, who read to my sister and me every night for years and years. My sister and I both loved this nighttime ritual.

In addition to reading aloud, my mom carted us to the library every week, or basically any time we wanted to go. I loved the library. We also had newspapers, magazines and books lying around any time we wanted to pick up and read.

Interestingly, I have not been able to pass my love of libraries on to my son. He is perfectly happy to read whatever I bring home to him, but has no interest in visiting himself.  Sigh.

3. Do you have any special reading-time rituals for reading aloud with kids?

I still read aloud to my son every night. I would say that the special part is that I always let him pick the book. That has meant sometimes reading the same book over and over and over. I always feel that if he wants to hear the same book again there is something he needs to process more, or something that he particularly enjoyed and wants to retain in his memory. In any case, I never hesitate to read a book over.

So, do you have any special reading time rituals? Do you have any suggestions to get a tween to go to the library?

Thanks to Elizabeth Dulemba for the great Share -A -Story button!

2 Replies to “Reading and Children – Share a Story”

  1. I had not thought about why my daughter wants the same book over-and-over, but as I think back on her choices, I can see what you already know: sometimes she needs something to help her process more. I hope you’ll write again about the Princess and the Goblin to see if he changes his mind.

  2. Thanks. There are so many excellent choices for books these days, however, I don’t mind that he has more modern favorites.

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