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Guest Post: Picking Books as a Parent

Parents. Do you give your munchkins free reign over their book choices, or do you draw the line? Is any book a book well read, or is there a distinction between proper books and television tie-ins? Should children leave certain books behind and grow into new ones? When I worked in a bookshop, I saw how different one parent’s stand-point was to another. 

I’m so pleased to welcome Charlotte of Charlotte Somewhere to my blog. Charlotte is the parent of a six year-old boy (S). She has told me how they came to acquire some of S’s recent reads. Huge thanks Charlotte. 

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My mother never policed my reading choices. She isn’t a reader herself but she always encouraged me and let me choose what I wanted. I remember once being in the library and requesting a book from the “point” section, which needed parental approval. My mum told the librarian that of course I could borrow it, she trusted me to choose my own books and to ask questions if I had any. I felt so grown-up!

I try to emulate this with my son, S. I want him to choose his own direction for reading, but left entirely to his own devices he would stick to books he alrrady knows or that are stories of his favourite films. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but I do want him to broaden his horizons whilst he’s young. We have a deal where in special offers or at the school book fair, he chooses one book and we choose one for him. It’s working well so far. 

20170903_123829The BFG, Fantastic Mr Fox and The Witches

S made the move to ‘chapter books’ at school last year, with the school reading The BFG. Of course, he wanted to read it again at home. We decided to try out some other Roald Dahl. Fantastic Mr Fox was a hit. The Witches, less so. It was far, far darker than I remembered it being. Turns out mums don’t always know best (but you didn’t hear that from me). 

Captain Underpants and Dirty Bertie
Captain Underpants is S’s current favourite obsession. Everything is 

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Captain Underpants. It made sense to direct his attentions to the books. They are full of small child toilet 
humour and hilarious adventures. He loves them! Dirty Bertie is us branching out. S loved the idea of a book about bogeys. Anything with bottoms or bogeys is bound to be a winner. I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point. 

You’re A Bad Man Mr Gum

20170903_123921This one was recommended by a bookseller at a local independent book shop. She sold it to S on the line “there’s a fairy in the bathroom who beats him with a frying pan”. That’s all S needed to hear. We’ve not tried this one yet, but it sounds really funny. 

Knighthood for Beginners 

In my experience, kids love a story with an adventure, but not every kid sees themselves as fitting with the stereotypes that often go with knights and adevntures. In this story, the convention is turned on it’s head as the dragon dreams of becoming a knight. S thought this sounded really good and we can’t wait to read it. 

The Seriously Extraordinary Diary of Pig and Captain Pug

The Seriously Extraordinary Diary of Pig was another recommendation from a book20170903_123933 seller. S told her he likes stories with  animals in them; she recommended this book which is written from the viewpoint of a pig called Bacon. 

Captain Pug is one he chose for himself because he thought the dog on the front was really cute. I’m sure one of my responsibilities as a parent is to teach him not to judge books by their covers, but we all do it sometimes and I’m just pleased he’s taking an interest in choosing his own books.

 
Thanks again Charlotte, for sharing your perception as a parent, and for the wonderful pictures. Be sure to pay a visit to CharlotteSomewhere
Are you a parent? Do you choose books for your child? Share your experiences in the comments below.
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