When Luna was just three months old a friend recommended this lovely lady called Trudi to help us out with some casual babysitting. Not having any family around meant that Dozza and I really struggled to even just pop out for a coffee date alone…something that every new parent desperately needs, even if it is just for an hour! Trudi had looked after children her whole life; she was warm, smiley, totally confident and just the person we were looking for to give us those occasional date nights together.
The first time she came to look after Luna she asked me in her soft Irish accent where all the books were? I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t have one in the house. She was 12 weeks old, all she pretty much did at this time was drink milk, sleep and give me the odd smile…why would we have any books for her? The next time Trudi arrived, tucked in her handbag was a present for Luna, her very first book. She told me that if I showed her the pictures, played her the sounds and read the tiny bits of text to her before bed it would encourage her to enjoy reading later on in life. That evening as Dozza and I went to the cinema, Trudi later told me she sat with Luna in her room and read her that book over 10 times until she fell asleep in her arms.
The next day I went out and bought about 20 books; pop up ones, lift the flap ones, noisy ones…you name it I bought it! Every night since then, after her evening bottle, we read with her, I can’t tell you how much she loves it. She’ll potter off to the book box, lift the lid and one by one she collects her favourite reads…always finishing with the one that means the most to her, Trudi’s book. It brings me so much joy knowing that she’s already becoming a little book worm, and I’m going to make it a priority to continue with this ritual for as long as she’ll let me.
Our top 10 reads (for the first 18 months) –
- Usbourne Baby’s Very First Christmas Playbook
- That’s Not My Baby
- Rabbits Nap – Julia Donaldson – Axel Scheffler
- Dear Zoo Noisy Book – Rod Campbell
- Pop-Up Peekaboo Farm!
- Happy Birthday Sophie! Pop-Up Peekaboo!
- Peppa Pig – The Fire Engine
- Spot’s Lift-the-flap Peekaboo – Eric Hill
- Who’s On The Farm – Julia Donaldson – Lydia Monks
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle