It’s never too early to read

It seemed silly, but on the day my daughter was born I read to her.As she gurgled away in the hospital bassinet, I read aloud Mem Fox’s Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes.

It was Fox herself whose advice was ringing through my head as I read to my hours-old baby.

“I beg you all to read superb books aloud to your children! Begin on the day they are born. I am very serious about this: at least three stories and five nursery rhymes a day, if not more, and not only at bedtime, either.” – Mem Fox.

Fox has a book called Reading Magic that talks all about the impact reading aloud to children has on their emotional and intellectual development.

Read it yourself and you’ll realise why I risked sounding like a crazy person reading to my newborn in the middle of the night in the maternity ward.

My daughter is now three-and-a-half and loves books.

We’ve moved on from picture books to easy readers designed for primary school-aged children (truth be told, I think she likes the lengthier stories because they prolong bedtime).

It’s not so much about education for us (although that’s a fortunate side effect). It’s about bonding.

In an era where screens suck so much of our attention, reading a ‘real’ book is an activity that forces you to cuddle, talk and connect.

My greatest joy now comes from seeing my daughter reading to her 10-month-old brother.

And I can hardly wait for the day my children will be reading novels written by their own mother.

A few months ago I was asked to write this piece for a local newspaper but it never ran, so I thought I’d publish it here so it wasn’t wasted.





Comments 3

  1. I think this is the first time I have heard of DAY ONE reading aloud to children, but that sounds like the perfect way to welcome a newbie into the world if you ask me!! x

  2. I read to my son from birth and at 16, he’s now a book lover and wordsmith. Little kids don’t care what you read to them either, I used to read my textbooks to him so I could study while spending time with him.

  3. I think I did the same Sam! We have created a culture of books and reading and imagination and storytelling, and I am proud of that. Both my girls adore stories, and it’s been a big part of their language development too. I particularly love what you say about it being a bonding time – it is for us too.

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