The experience of reading with your kids has a sweetness that is unmatched. Maybe it’s the closeness of having your child on your lap, or being tucked temporarily into bed together. Maybe it’s the rhythm of the text, like the calming repetition of Goodnight Moon, or the entertaining and zany illustrations of a talented artist like Michael Martchenko. Maybe it’s the memorable characters, like George the curious monkey or Scaredy the neurotic squirrel.
Sometimes it’s the nostalgia associated with a certain book. I love it when my son pulls out the oversized Richard Scarry storybook Busy, Busy World. Decades ago, my siblings and I spent hours studying the world map at the front and reading the internationally-themed stories about Scarry’s trademark pigs, cats and foxes. Sadly, the book was later lost in a fire and by that time was out of print. When I became a mom, my sister found it on eBay and gave it to us as a baby gift. I was so grateful for the chance to share those beloved stories with my own kids.
Most likely, reading time is special because it’s quality time. It’s about the undivided attention we give to the book – and as a result, to each other. Here, six well-known Canadian parents share some of the cherished stories they've shared with their children.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, August/September 2014.