Rediscovering the joys of reading

By Anita Tedaldi: PNT columnist

Recently I’ve discovered that the power and charm of my children’s books works on them as well as on me.

I never thought that I’d actually hope my daughter wouldn’t fall asleep too quickly so that I could keep reading her books, but it’s happened the last few years as we started venturing into exciting and more complex stories.

I’m becoming fairly obsessed with Nancy Drew. Maybe it’s because I grew up in Italy and we didn’t read Nancy Drew, but I love her, her father, her interest in solving mysteries and the way the books are written.

Luisa, my oldest daughter, and I are reading The Secret of the Old Clock right now. It’s a page turner.

Sometimes when she falls asleep I keep reading, even though I’m not sure I can justify reading the book to myself. Eventually I stop and fight the urge to wake up my daughter to tell her that we have to find out what happens next. I always look forward to the next night when we’ll read together and find out what Nancy will be doing next.

My 6-year-old and 5-year-old daughters are also finding more interest in a variety of books. Right now they love a book titled The Human Body.

We look at it together and they’re fascinated by the vascular system, and even though the discovery that the heart isn’t really shaped like a heart, or that the brain seems squishy makes them laugh and run around the house screaming that we’re so weird inside, they’re actually learning something.

Most importantly they are certain that they’ll never become doctors, nurses, or people who give shots.

My three and one year old love the kinds of books that they can touch and feel. Sometimes we spend a long time reading the lift the flap books and going over and over the same pages.

Their reactions are always the same. They laugh when they see a puppy under a soft blanket they can pull from the book page, and want to do it 100 times over and laugh 100 times over. Other times they prefer to make towers and stack the books one on top of the other.

All of it is fun. It’s a ride I don’t want to miss even if at this point, I know most of these books by heart.

Here’s a short list of great books children enjoy reading: