It’s nearly eleven years and my wife and I are still taking turns, alternating nights, reading to our son at bedtime. Sometimes the boy and the parent will read their own books, but for the most part there’s still a lot of reading out loud going on. I’ve read quite a few books this way, and it’s really brought out a sense of what works and what doesn’t (for me). Some of the more popular books which we’ve read (Artemis Fowl, Harry Potter, Rick Riordan’s, Hunger Games) have been the worst – wordy, repetitive, and full of stale cliches and plots you could navigate in your sleep. On the other hand, there have been so many that have been a joy – including nearly every Lemony Snicket, every Roald Dahl, all of Shel Silverstein and Maurice Sendak, Lewis Carroll, Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain series.
Right now we’re in the midst of a very fun book, Seamus and Tessa by Jim Maher (author of the marvelous Hemingway Man). This one is wildly inventive, engaging and amusing, featuring a pair of goofy parents (I’m an all-day sucker for those, being one myself) and a host of really bad bad guys. It’s the kind of book that makes me look forward to my turns. Wait, I think I hear him calling. Can’t wait to see what happens next (I don’t read ahead, no matter how much I want to, just so we can discover it together)