“A love of books, of holding a book, turning its pictures, and living its fascinating stories goes hand-in-hand with a love of learning.”
I can ignore any political leanings when it comes to the appreciation of books for kids which is precisely why I’ve started off my post with this quote.
I believe Mrs. Bush got this one right, her choice of husband sucks but at least this woman knows the value of reading!
Developing a love of reading really does develop a love of learning, no matter what interests the reader and encouraging your children to read as often and as frequently as you can, in as many ways as you can will only help junior later in life.
Now, I am no Tiger Mother and I am certainly not singing any battle hymns (I can barely find time to style my hair most days!) but I think it’s important to instil the importance of reading in the daily lives of your children, whether it’s by modelling reading behaviour (my husband may not be a big fiction reader but he sure loves to read books on hockey and Jim Morrison poetry), setting aside time for reading or even just making a trip to the local library part of your weekly routine.
This past Sunday, we all went to our local library and even if Emmerson just spent the time pulling out books, squealing and running around with the other kids, it sets the foundation for the library being a fun place to be (and a glaring reminder we have to get out toddler out much more, seriously it as like Girls Gone Wild-the Toddler Edition!)
This thinking is why I love books like The Nightwood by Robin Muller (ISBN: 9781770492097, Tundra Books, 2010) because it looks like a picture book but it reads for an older audience. It’s really a book that will last a lifetime.
I remember a beguiling hardcover book I had on fairies (the creepy kind not the Tinkerbell ones) which I kept from young age well into adulthood and how I remained enthralled by the folktales and the haunting images well after the free-reign imagination of childhood faded.
The Nightwood is based on the Celtic folktale of Tamlynne and tells the story of a young woman, the daughter of the Earl of March who is drawn to a nearby wood where the Elfin Queen holds court.
Elaine runs to the forest when her father treats her like a child and refuses to let her attend a dance at their manor and falls in love with Tamlynne only to find out that he belongs to the Elfin Queen. When she learns of a way to help him escape, even at a terrible cost, Elaine is willing to pay that price.
While this is story for an older child, I love the enchanting pictures and folklore and think even the younger child will be enticed by the pictures and will probably turn to this book with a mixture of wonder and awe until they can “get” the true love aspect.
This is also a great book for those parents or grandparents who love folklore, legends and fantasy and who are hoping to spark an interest in their own offspring.
Muller is an acclaimed artist and master storyteller and winner of many awards, including the Governor General’s award for The Magic Paintbrush. His books have also been translated into numerous languages and adapted for the stage.
He’s also is a second year drawing instructor in the Animation Department at Sheridan College where I am sure he is inspiring many a new talent just as The Nightwood is sure to inspire a new generation of legend lovers.
It’s also a great parental reminder about being a little too repressive and ensuring your daughter gets out as much as possible!