Book Review- A Picture Perfect Childhood

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I was going to write about something different today, but the book I am reading now has touched mA Picture Perfect Childhoode so deeply I need to share it!

While I was at the library last Wednesday I was walking by the rows of books and saw this one on the end of the row, and felt I should pick it up.  I was intrigued, but also quite sceptical.  “My children’s whole life will be perfect if I invest just 15 minutes a day! Yea, right” I thought.  It sounded like something was being sold that was just too good to be true, but I had no idea what they were trying to sell.  I grabbed the book and forgot about it until last night.

I picked it up last night to see what in the world it was about.  It wasn’t long before tears were pouring down my face and I think I even pressed the book to my chest and thought “Oh!  I’m going to LOVE this book!”  It is, in short, about reading to your children. 

She starts the book out by explaining how books help children develop imagination and basically the good we can get from reading books.  Then she gives list after list of books she recommends for almost every occasion or subject you can think of.  I like this quote from her book. 

“Literature and the reading of it is not about getting away from the world or living apart from the world or isolating oneself into a make-believe world.  Literature and reading is all about understanding the world, accepting the world we live in and our place in it, reaching a higher chapter of being, and helping us make the world better than we see it outside our glass tower.  It’s all about turning the page and bridging the gap.” 

I am an avid reader, and I always have been.  I feel sometimes as if I DEVOUR books,  and I can’t imagine life without reading.  I especially enjoy the fantasy genre.   I think perhaps this is why this book has touched me so deeply.  I am passionate about the books I read.  Just thinking about my favorite books as a child and the pleasure and excitement I got from reading them is enough to get me blurry eyed.  The Little House books (which I am reading to my 5 year old now, and I STILL love them) Anne of Green Gables, the Narnia books, The Wizard of Oz, Walk Two Moons, Charlotte’s Web, and on and on and on.  I so want to pass this passion for books on to my children.  This is one reason Waldorf education seems so wonderful to me.  They place much emphasis on story telling, especially fairy tales for young children. 

So here are a few things I am going to do differently as a result of reading this book.  First, not all children’s books are created equal.  I am going to stop just pulling books randomly off the shelf when we go to the library and make my selections a little more thought out.  I love that if I go online and reserve the books I want at the library a few days before we go, they will have them all right there in one place for me to pick up.  With kids ages 5,3, and 1 I don’t get much of a chance to really peruse anymore.  I am going to buy this book so I can have it for the list of book recommendations and try to get a few of those each week.  I also want to focus on getting books more on my children’s interests.

Second, I am going to re-commit myself to making sure we are enjoying reading together each day.  I say enjoying because all too often I am trying to rush through the book so we can get to the part of bedtime when they actually go to sleep.  I also find I read to them when I am too tired to do anything else, so I don’t end up putting much feeling into my reading, either.  So enjoying together means I have to enjoy it too! 

I loved reading this book most of all because it brought back to me how important reading good literature is to me and how important it is to pass that love of reading to my children.  If you love to read, this book is for you.  But don’t take my word for it!

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4 responses »

  1. Arrgh! Neither my library nor paperback book swap have that book. 😦 It sounds like a good one! For me reading is like breathing; I get very uncomfortable if I don’t have a book always on hand to read.

  2. What a great book! I think I’ll get it soon. When Winston was ready to move beyond board books, I turned to the other children’s picture books and was overwhelmed where to start. Some I picked up that looked fun wouldn’t keep his attention. I asked the librarian if there was some kind of list of books to match up with age and was pointed to these awesome brochures. I take that with me every time I go and am always grateful for it. I’m excited to look into this one. Thanks for the tip.

  3. I agree with Alberta – and right now I’m between books and feeling a little lost! (the library had all of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series except 4 and 7, and I need 7!!!) Anyhow, I understand your love of books, and I just have to say that I so enjoyed reading my children the books I loved – but, please, no Disney books! …it’s true that I liked to help my kids select books because I was more motivated to read them the ones I liked, even over and over and over (and I still like them :)).

    • Hey mom, I’m reading WoT also! (Mostly to get to Brandon Sanderson’s contributions.) Try paperback swap for the missing books. As for children’s books, it definitely helps when you’re reading the same story for the 20th time in a row if you really love it.

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