Thursday, May 20, 2010

Does your child eat books?

Last week I was in the library with our Little Man. As we sat down for story time with other mums and kids, I let him play with the book I was going to borrow. He toddled off with it.

Just as the story teller was opening a story about how to treat library books, we all heard a massive Riiiiiiiiipppp sound. Silence. Then a sharp gasp from me as we all turned to see Little Man holding the first page of my book...

... with the rest of the book on the floor.

True story.

Ok so this example is of my child and public property What about books at home?

Kim [sorry, Liz!] at On Giant's Shoulders tells me that her grand daughter loves to eat books, as does my Little Man, although he's more into shredding them. Like the possibly out-of-print second hand Golden books I gave him.

I don't want him to destroy precious books, but I want him to be friends with books, not just acquaintances. I want him to be comfortable with them.

A friend of mine says his 2 year old son covers himself with books at night before he goes to sleep. What better way to get close to your books?

For now, I'm happy for our Little Man to shred, eat and sleep with his (non-precious) books. I think when he gets a bit older I'll start showing him how to be a courtly lover of them.


Liz said...

Well, actually it's Liz at On Giants Shoulders, but it's true LW does devour books. She's been known to rip pieces off too. However, my own kids obviously did some of that as well (at least if the evidence from some of the scratch and sniff books can be believed). We try to keep the grown up books away from LW just as we tried to keep them away from my kids when they were little. I don't honestly believe my kids wrote in my books with crayons, but someone's kids did (since I loan books out a lot, I know that at least one book was the victim of a former pastor's child for example).

I agree, however, that we really tried to raise our kids to love books and we're trying to encourage LW to love books as well. It seems to be working. She can already go to a pile of books and pull out Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See, when asked to do so and she loves her book with kitties in it. So even if some books ultimately get too well loved in the process it seems a small price to pay. Library books, on the other hand, have to get the courtly treatment.

Sarah said...

Sorry Liz!(And to any Kims out there)
It certainly seems that little LW is a budding book lover. If you have any other hints about encouraging reading and a love of books, let me know. Sarah

Abigail Badillo said...

Sarah -

If you haven't read "Honey for a Child's Heart" by Gladys Hunt - I highly recommend it. The first half discusses a child's need for good books that give them "honey" or joy in life; the second half is an annotated list of great children's books. She covers all the classics that you would expect, as well as some obscure ones that are well worth finding.. I picked up a used copy at our local B&N for a song but it would have been worth paying full price for, as now I've got some great suggestions to begin building LW's library with. The book has suggestions from infancy up through the teenage years.