We love books! #1

"Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself." - George Bernard Shaw

We love books!

This is the first of what I hope will be a series of monthly posts dedicated to...books!

The idea is to divide it into two sections; in one to focus on some of the books Emma has enjoyed each month and in the other to write a little about a book I've been reading.  Realistically, that's unlikely to be more than one - I confess that after family and home, work and blogging, not much time is left for reading!  However, the more I get into a book, the more time I find to keep reading.

Obviously, my daughter and I don't read books in the same way at all.  I'm more of a serial monogamist, finishing one book then going on to the next.  Occasionally, I may leave a book unfinished to come back to later (I have a few that have been waiting patiently for years for me to finish them!) or start reading two at the same time - I find this difficult though, and one almost always ends up getting dumped.

My daughter, on the other hand, views books as another type of toy, to play with, look at, interact with and have them read to her over and over again, selecting several books at a time.  Perhaps the most important aspect of books for her is sharing them with someone who will interact with her and the book.  She will show you things in the book, pointing and making appropriate noises (animal sounds or car noises, for example!), or you ask her questions about things in the pictures and tell her a story - it's unlikely she will let you actually read the whole story to her unless the text is very very short!  She's now 19 months old so her books are picture books and board books, books with flaps and puppets and other things you can move.  She loves magnet books, too, but there are always missing pieces that turn up days later in odd places!

I won't be writing full book reviews, just some brief comments on each book I feature.

What Emma's reading:
I love books #1
Peek-a-boo Jungle was one of many books given to us by Emma's godmother when she was a few months old and had belonged to one or both of her daughters.  It's a great book for babies and toddlers with a big flap on each page that you pull down to reveal the animal hiding underneath.  The last page has a funny surprise with a mirror under the flap (sorry for spoiling it!).  Emma enjoys saying "bee-bo!" to the animals and stomping her feet when she sees the elephant and roaring at the lion.

Owl Babies is a cute story about three baby owls waiting for their mother to come home.  It was a present from my parents on their first visit here a year ago.  It has beautiful illustrations of the pale fluffy owl babies and the dark wood where they perch on a branch wondering where their mummy is.  Of course it has a happy and reassuring ending.  All in all it's very loveable.

What I'm reading:
We love books #1

I started reading Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell more than a couple of months ago and am just about to finish it.  I bought it on my last trip to the UK over two years ago in a second-hand shop in Sheringham, Norfolk.  All the paperbacks were a pound so I bought quite a few, although not as many as I would've liked as I was worried about having to pay excess baggage on the way back!  I wish we had bookshops like that here.

You can tell by the state of the book in the photo that it has spent the past two and a half months being carried around in my bag, taken out at odd moments, quiet evenings and weekend mornings when I have the chance to read.  Actually, I have really enjoyed those moments and become really  involved in the story of social realism, romance, tragedy and drama among the families of poor workers and rich mill owners in 19th century Manchester.  The novel has some harrowing descriptions of the terrible poverty suffered by some of the characters, like the following heartbreaking passage which really stuck in my mind:

"Many a penny that would have gone little way enough in oatmeal or potatoes, bought opium to still the hungry little ones, and make them forget their uneasiness in heavy troubled sleep.  It was a mother's mercy."

Imagine.  That really makes me thankful for everything I have.
Cuddle Fairy
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  1. Oh lovely to 'meet you'. I've a family of book worms and we love nothing more than a good book to enjoy. Owl Babies is such a wonderful warm story which all of my daughters have enjoyed. #pocolo

  2. Oh geez, what a quote. That one really would stick in your head! I can't imagine dealing with poverty with children & watching them suffer. It would be unbearable. Thanks so much for sharing with #candidcuddles, I hope you will join in again tomorrow x

    1. It makes me realise how lucky I am and how much we live in relative luxury compared to too many people even today.
      Didn't manage to join this week's candidcuddles, but hopefully next week!

  3. I absolutely agree with you (and good ole George Bernard Shaw) that you should never give a child a book you haven't read yourself. This works well for me as since having kids my attention span is zero - so I have been catching up with such classics as Heidi, the Tin Princess and Flat Stanley. All smashing reads. (Mary Barton is great too though). #twinklytuesday

  4. Gosh — that Mary Barton quote is hard hitting isn't it? Can you imagine?? I can and don't like to... the thought of being in the position where you'd have to send your little ones to the mill or the work-house is just awful. We're so lucky not to live in that era aren't we? Thanks so much for linking up with us! #TwinklyTuesday

  5. That is a great quote :) I absolutely LOVE Owl Babies. I never tired of reading that to Grace when she was younger. Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x

  6. Owl Babies was one of the Tubblet's favourites. I haven't read Mary Barton but have North & South to read. Good too meet another book worm!

  7. Ah we used to like Owl Babies, but I think we got it from the library so we didn't read it over and over like most of our books! #KLTR

  8. Oh Owl Babies looks lovely I think I will look out for it at the library as it looks like a book my children would enjoy :) thanks for linking up to #kltr

  9. I so agree that you should live the books that you read your children. Any books that I don't like reading at bedtime quietly disappear from my kids bookshelves! Owl Babies is my sons absolute favourite, I think I know the whole book off by heart! I used to live in Ecuador and was always trying to get books in English and pretty much read anything I could find. It definitely broadened my taste. Thank you for linking up to #KLTR