Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Introducing Ourselves

Hi. Before I begin reviewing books, I thought a short introduction was in order. I am Allison, the writer of this blog. I am a stay-at-home mom of two children. Once upon a time, I was a Writing, Literature, and Publishing major in college. And, for as long as I can remember, I have been a reader and a lover of books. Since having my first child almost four years ago, I have spent a lot of time cultivating a love of reading in my children, carefully (and sometimes not so carefully) choosing books for them and spending hours upon hours reading aloud to them.

This blog would not be complete without the opinions of my children, and so I will introduce them here, as well. Jay is my first-born child. He was born in December of 2009. He has loved books from the beginning. I remember, three weeks after he was born, all of my help was gone--my husband was back to work and my mother had flown back to Florida. We were alone in the house, and I had no idea what to do with him, other than feed him, change him, and encourage him to sleep. So, I did the only thing that seemed natural to me. I laid Jay down on my bed. I laid head-to-head with him, held a book over our heads so that he could see the pictures clearly while on his back, and I began to read aloud. In those early months--before he talked, before he walked (and, yes, those milestones came in that order), before conversations, and running around--we spent hours every day, on the bed, reading. To this day, when we have downtime, Jay can often be found sitting on the floor, on the couch, or in his bed, with a book in his lap. And, to me, the best part is that his sister is often sitting right beside him, doing the same thing, with a different book in her lap.

Kay was born in February of 2012. She is a spitfire, and it took her a bit longer to warm up to books. While Jay had stared intently at the books as an infant, still and seemingly enthralled, Kay used the time to kick her legs, try to grab the book, practice rolling over, or to babble over my voice. I started to fear that she would not love books the way the rest of the family did. Then, right around her first birthday, Kay started to show more interest in books. By the time she was walking, she used her new skill to wander into her bedroom, park herself in front of her bookshelves, and flip through one book after another. Now, I have no fears about her love of reading. Yes, she is more likely to wiggle--or even wander off--during a read-aloud session. But, she also spends long periods of time--sometimes a half hour stretch or more--flipping through books, absorbing them in her own way.

The introductions would not be complete without mentioning my husband. Kurt is just as avid a reader as I am. We went to a bookstore on our first date (this wasn't necessarily the plan--we stopped in while walking around the city). Trolling around used bookstores is still a favorite pastime together. Long before Jay was born, we talked about how important it was to create a family of readers--for books and literature to be completely ingrained in the culture of our household.

I am looking forward to reviewing and discussing our books here with you. And, please, if you have a favorite children's book, let me know. I am always looking for new recommendations.