Tip #2: Choose age-appropriate books
This may sound obvious, but it’s easy to forget that it is not a pleasure to read – or listen to – a story that just flies over your head. The body of Zoowun’s books for one-year olds are ten pages long because this is a length that is challenging enough to help develop language and vocabulary, but not so long that they lose the plot through loss of attention.
Tip #3: Keep books accessible
Although – even now – it is not too early to start instilling respect around how to handle books, whether in e-book or hard copy format, please don’t be too precious about them either. They are there to be loved and cherished and to open windows to new worlds. The collateral damage is that the pages may get dog-eared and torn or that your tablet screen will be smudged with muck. But please don’t use this as a reason to confiscate a favorite story book and keep it hidden from sight.
Tip #4: Let her choose the book (mostly)
Yes there are books that you will want to read your toddler. (By the way, the older she gets the more of these there will be as you come across stories that you loved as a child.) But try – most of the time anyway – to stand back and let her choose the story she wants to hear.
You do, of course, run the risk that you will read the same bed time story for 180 nights running, which brings us to….
Tip #5: Don’t sweat the repetition
My son had a favourite story when he was one. (It was Rod Campbell’s “Dear Zoo”.) We literally read it every day for three months – sometimes three times a day. Yes it is a delightful story but even the most compelling book becomes a bit jaded – for you, the adult. So I sucked it up and smiled and read it over and over…and was happy to introduce a second – different – storybook into story time when time allowed.
But above all, please remember to enjoy it yourself. There is something wonderful in the physical closeness of reading to your toddler, especially as part of a bedtime routine. And there is nothing quite like a whisper in the dark that tell you how much she loves the story – and you.