Getting kids hooked on books – payback time (in a nice way)

Mother and Child Treasury, by Shirley Hughes andPeople talk of reading to young children as being a chore, and of parents rather than children falling asleep at bedtime out of sheer exhaustion. Well, there’s no denying that babies and young children are hard work and that sleep becomes the ultimate luxury.

But reading to your kids can be great fun, not just a chore and not just at bed-time. You and your kids can act out the stories (voices are enough – no need for Oscar-winning performances. You are exhausted, after all).

And you might, eventually, get your reward. A couple of months ago, I had a bad cold – one of those short but fierce colds that leave you no option but to take to your bed.

I was lying there feeling miserable, red-nosed and very sorry for myself. Olivia, my teenage daughter, brought me some Lemsip, tucked me up comfortably and stroked my fevered brow. That was nice enough in itself.

But she then produced our old copy of “The Mother & Child Treasury”, an anthology compiled by Shirley Hughes and illustrated by her daughter, Clara Vulliamy, and read me some of the stories I’d read to her as a child. It was lovely – a mother and daughter moment to treasure indeed.

By Marian Dougan

One Response

  1. That’s amazing. In a sentimental moment a few months ago, I ordered The Shirley Hughes Collection, primarily for “Dogger”, which was my favourite story AND my mum’s.

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