I have a confession to make. I got caught up in the COVID-19 panic-buying that happened in late March. But mine wasn’t toilet paper or hand sanitiser: it was books.
I remember the day clearly. We’d had dinner, I’d put the kids to bed. I thought I’d check my phone one last time before heading upstairs (never a good idea) and saw that all museums, art galleries and LIBRARIES would be closed… indefinitely.
Just when I thought reading with my son snuggled in bed was never going to happen again, it returns! The world’s recent events have meant slower mornings for us. After a quick trip downstairs to put on Bluey for the 3-year-old, I slip back in bed to read. And lately, the 6-year-old – and his favourite chapter book – have been joining me.
And that’s because he can now read! Just over a year of school and he can read entire books by himself. Last year, I was reading the chapter books, and this year it’s all him.
1. The 117-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
This time last year we were only just introduced to these books. A year on and we’ve read every one of the series twice – the first time with me reading a chapter aloud every night, the second time my 6-year-old reading them to himself before bed (and sometimes staying up way too late to get to The Last Chapter).
What difference a year makes! Last year the list was full of picture books and junior non-fiction. This year we’ve made a sudden change to a) chapter books that we read before bed over a number of weeks, sometimes months, or b) books my son reads himself. And it’s a whole new and exciting world!
It’s amazing what 6 months of school can do. Our boy who wasn’t interested in reading anything other than his own name is now reads absolutely everything. And I mean everything. From sign-posts and cereal boxes to TV captions and toothpaste tubes… if it has a word on it, my 5 year old will be right there sounding out each of the l-l-l-e-e-t-t-t-er-er-er-s… letters!
1. The 26-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
Every morning, our 1 year old gets into bed with us and together we read five books that we’ve borrowed from the library. He likes new books, but there’s a few that are clear standouts. ‘More!’ he shouts over and over and I find myself reading the book from cover to cover ten times… and all of this before 7am.
I’ve listed below his top ten favourite books and what he loves about them. Before I know it this list will change completely, so I better write it down before we forget.
1. Junkyard Dig!: Building from A to Z by Annie Auerbach
These trucks who live in Trucktown decide to build a fort from various things they find at the dump. My son loves the rocket (we countdown 3-2-1 then blast off) and the umbrella (that pops open then floats down into his lap) and the yak (because it looks like he has a banana on his head). He also squeals with delight when he sees the teddy bear on the front grill of Gabriella the Garbage Truck.