Though I hadn’t listed this book in my 2009 reading list, I’m so glad I decided to borrow a copy and read it before Molly Kate got much older. From the start of my parenting, I knew it was important to read to our daughter. Hunt, who makes clear her devotion to the Lord, drove that importance home for me with sound wisdom and helpful suggestions. She insists that children need a well-rounded dose of literature-the classics, fantasy and poetry can all have their proper place in the books we read to our children. She also gives helpful points in distinguishing good childrens books from ones that are not so worthwhile. One of the best parts of the book is the bibliography which list title after title of great books, for preschoolers through mature readers. I found it so helpful that I copied the list in order to have a portable version for our trips to the library and bookstore. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
As Christian parents we are concerned about building whole people–people who are alive emotionally, spiritually, intellectually. The instruction train up a child in the way he should go encompasses so much more than teaching him the facts of the gospel. It is to train the child’s character, to give him high ideals, and to encourage integrity. It is to provide largeness of thought, creative thinking, imaginative wondering–an adequate view of God and His world. He can never really appreciate the finest without personal redemption. But many a redeemed person lives in a small insecure world because he has never walked with God into the larger place which is His domain. We have books and the Book at our disposal to use wisely for God’s glory. (p. 21)
Good literature teaches more than we know. Example always speaks louder than precept, and books can do more to inspire honor and tenacity of purpose than all the scoldings and exhortations in the world. (p. 49)
A good book inspires the inner person with hope for the future. Books that do not stir a child’s imagination are a waste of time. (p. 58)
Practically speaking, my reading time with Molly Kate seems to work best right before nap time. She naps everyday around 2 pm, so we sit down with a large stack of books and read for thirty or forty-five minutes prior to her nap (the ability to sit still for such a lengthy period of time has only come about in the last three or four months). Of course, there are always random moments throughout the day when she walks up to me, book in hand and says “Read please.” As best as I can, I stop whatever I’m doing and read the book as I long to continue growing her desire to read. We also read a Bible story in the morning (from her Wee Sing Bible book-which she adores because it includes listening to a song!!), one after dinner (from her Bible in Pictures which also allows Mommy and Daddy to read the passage from one of our bibles) and then one before bed (from her Big Picture Story Bible). I’ve definitely found that having a scheduled time for reading each day ensures that we actually do it and make it a priority! And I’ve enjoyed watching her grow in her interest in books and finally have “favorites”!