I love reading with H, my
just two-year-old. Yet I have found it hard to find books that we both like. There
are lots with too much text for him; lots that are so earnest and lacking in
imagination that I want to hurl them into the carpark over which our flat
abuts; and lots about diggers and dinosaurs (not a bad thing but it gets a bit
Yet when we find a good one,
it makes me so very happy. I often wonder if I have lived an overly textual
life, reading and writing all the time, so that when I am exposed to an
effective and artistic union of vibrant pictures with some decent text, my soul
leaps like a little kitten sniffing its first anchovy. Some authors – Sarah Garland, John Burningham, Quentin Blake, the Ahlbergs –
make me really feel more excited than is proportionate.
So, I am often telling
innocent bystanders about these books, and they are clearly bored to tears,
though mostly polite. Hence the blog, so that the joy can be shared among the
ranks of the interested. Those who know that books are the centre of everything,
and that they must not waste valuable hours of their child’s life reading anything
stolid, overly worthy or drab. Those who recognise the need to obtain a good
selection of books that can be read to a child at least 45 times each without
vomiting (him / her or you).
Anyways, the Toddler Reader
will aim to make a list of really good books for children aged around the same
as my H. You can peruse it and hopefully have a chuckle and feel a little sorry
for me, a former academic whose skills at draining the joy out of life through
over analysis are now being given full flower in burdening the innocent heroes
and heroines of children’s literature with way, way too much significance.
I will be posting once a
week-ish. I understand from my research that parent blogs ought to elicit the
positive involvement of the child so I will be including a comment from H to
round out each review.