28 April 2012

On the occasion of my daughter's first birthday

Tink* turned one on Thursday. Not only did we get to sing to her and eat cake with strawberry frosting, but for about a second and a half, she stood unassisted! She'll be standing comfortably in no time, I'm sure!

Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Whenever I celebrate a child's birthday, I think about children's literature, and Thursday was no exception. I thought about what books my daughter might like to have as her first books, what stories I want to read to my children at bed times, and what authors I hope they grow to enjoy/appreciate as they explore literature on their own.

I remember loving Amelia Bedelia and anything by Dr. Seuss. I read the Berenstein Bears, and, of course, the Little Golden Books with great stories like The Pokey Little Puppy. Then, as I got older, I fell in love with Roald Dahl. I think Dahl was the first author I read that caused m to pick up other books simply because he'd written them. (I'd read and loved The BFG, so wouldn't it follow that I'd also love Matilda?) And I want my children to have memories of these stories, too.

But I also know that tastes in literature are as varied as tastes in fashion, so I don't want to force my tastes in literature onto my children. I, for example, never got into Nancy Drew. If my kids want to read everything associated with that name, that should be fine with me, right? And though I voraciously read R. L. Stine, it could be that neither of my kids will want to read Goosebumps. And that should be fine with me.

As a parent, I'm faced with the careful balance of introducing my children to the wonderful, wide world of stories and providing them a foundation of literature, but doing it in a way that will encourage their library explorations to take their own paths.

So, yes, the next time I take the kids into the book store I'll likely pick something for Tink that I like and will hope she likes, but I'll also let Puck choose for himself.

*Due to my children's personalities, I have decided that, for the purposes of this blog, they will be referred to as Puck (my son) and Tink (my daughter).

1 comment:

Add a little caffeine to my life...