As a former English and reading teacher, I cannot stress how important it is to read with your children. Start early and do it often. Truly, it is one of the best things you can do to bond with your child, develop a love of reading, and help them succeed in school.
Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox now… (but seriously, it is SO important!)
As part of my 1,001 Ways to Simple, Happy, and Relaxed, Damn It! Project, I’m going to offer suggestions for children’s books that I love. Because reading with my son is a simple activity that makes us both happy. (And even helps him relax before bedtime, too!)
Today’s book is The Water Hole by Graeme Base.
The Water Hole is one of those books that you will read with your child for years. Its storyline revolves around an ever-shrinking water hole where all the animals come to drink, with a hole in each page that gets smaller and smaller to illustrate the water hole disappearing.
As far as interactive books, it doesn’t get any better. It’s a counting book, beginning with one rhino and ending with ten kangaroos. You can discuss geography, as each page represents a different area of the globe, from North America to the Galapagos Islands to China. You can have the earth-friendly talks about not wasting water (my son is obsessed with the bathroom faucets!). The book’s beautiful illustrations make this a wonderful introduction to art too.
My favorite part is the “seek and find” features on each page. My son is two and loves the “I Spy” books- this book takes that concept to another level. The top and bottom border of each page contains pictures of animals found in the region illustrated on that particular page. Those animals are hidden within the illustration itself. (Add zoology to the list of learning subjects!) If you look above, you can see an impala and zebra on the left, a gorilla in the tree trunk, etc. There are also ten frogs hiding on the first page, with the number decreasing on each page as the water hole gets smaller.
Honestly, I could blather on forever about how awesome this book is. If you don’t have kids, buy it for a niece, nephew, friend’s kid- someone! It’s just that awesome.
To snuggling up with little people and good books,