We returned from Butlins this afternoon to a glorious stack of booky goodness, some expected (a collection of Septimus Heap won via twitter) and some not. This one was not, but I was immediately enthralled and at bedtime brought it to bed with me.
I know, as a conscientious book loving parent and home educator that reading aloud is a Good Thing. I know this, and yet I don’t do it nearly enough. Oh I read smallest books, the books she brings me, but I rarely read aloud for my pleasure.
Tonight was different. Tonight I read Kipling (how the rhinoceros got his skin) to my two year old, and because she fell sleep before I’d finished, I read Stevenson (Escape at Bedtime, one of my all time favourites) to the baby.
Reading aloud shouldn’t be a chore. It should be a joint pleasurable experience, a bridge built between reader and listener, a shared moment staring into another land. And this book offers so many opportunities to do that. I love that out is poetry and prose. I love that there are old favourites, and I’m looking forward to making new friends. I’m hoping that some of the excerpts will tantalise older children into seeking out the full story, and I might even find myself tempted here and there.
Lovely book. Destined to be rapidly beaten, battered and well loved I feel. The kind of book that you feel like you’ve known for years, but had just temporarily forgotten the title, or not seen since you lent it to a friend. I may have to buy some extra copies as gifts.