While we’re on the subject of reading, I thought I’d share a little more about our bedtime story ritual. Reading aloud to my children is easily one of my favorite ways to spend time with them, and it’s something I’ve been doing since my eldest was just a babe in arms. When they were much younger, I would read to my two older kids together, usually something from the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christen Anderson. But as they grew, I began reading each of them their own chapter book, and that is where the fun really began. I love that they both still enjoy this daily tradition as much as I do.

We’re currently making our way through these two:

Wildwood Imperium – The third and final installment of the Wildwood Chronicles, a fantasy trilogy by Colin Meloy (lead singer of The Decembrists), and illustrated by his wife Carson Ellis. It’s an excellent middle-grades story, not too scary, but definitely thrilling. A little bit dark, a little bit adorable, and an all around good read, I highly recommend this series.

A Little Princess – Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic tale of Sara Crewe, orphaned as a young girl while living in an uppity boarding school in London. The language is beautiful, the story important, which is why it is still in print after more than one hundred years. Our copy came in this lovely box set, with charming cover illustrations by Anna Bond.

The toddler loves his before bed story time as much as the other two, but we’ve not quite graduated to chapter books. He does enjoy some longer stories mingled in with his favorite board books, and the rotation is constantly changing.

Here’s what he’s loving at the moment:

Curious George – Our copy is old as it’s been with us since my big kids were little, but Roux is loving the longer stories about the mischievous little monkey. I always forget that The Man in the Yellow Hat actually poached George from Africa, so the first story in the collection is a little peculiar that way.

The Way Back Home – My husband bought this for the baby while he was still in the NICU and for the longest time I couldn’t get through it without crying. But it’s a cute story, with super cute illustrations, and a sweet family memory to boot.

Hello Ninja – We love love love this one. And Roux has actually memorized the words, so he likes to “read” it himself, which is just about the most precious thing ever.

Longjohns – This was actually Emet’s first favorite book, and it became Roux’s first favorite. It’s brilliant in that it tells the story of an entire day with only single words on each page. Another one that Roux has memorized and loves to “read”.

We also have several books checked out from our local library about firetrucks, big rigs, and space shuttles, the kind with photographs and straightforward information. Roux is absolutely obsessed, and it was actually his big brother who took him to the library to look for these books, which is definitely as precious as it sounds. When he wakes up in the morning on the weekends, inevitably earlier than I would like, I can bring a few books to him in his crib, and he’ll happily sit there and “read” to himself for a decent amount of time.

All three of my kids love to read independently, and I like to think our reading together since early childhood has a little something to do with this.

PS: I posted the fifth piece of my miscarriage recovery story, if you’re interested.

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