When coming to Fiji we could only take what fit into 6 suitcases and a couple carry-ons. Therefore, most of what we own is freezing in a Utah storage unit, including the majority of our children's books. I knew the separation from beloved and well-worn titles would be annoying, but I completely underestimated the boredom of reading the same dozen books every day. (Some of you may relate to this.)
Building the number and variety of books we had access to became a priority for me. Thanks to a few trips back to the states, and my mother's super-human ability to bargain at yard sales, we have been able to triple our meager Fiji library without worrying about filling luggage with heavy books on the final return trip. In addition I checked used and new book stores here, but I didn't particularly love the idea of dumping money into books we would use for mere months. So, I got creative. I took that beloved book everyone knows, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and quite easily adapted it to Fiji. We took our photos of animals and insects and turned it into a laminated book perfectly personalized for my Biologist in training. It wasn't professional by any means, but very well received!
In the months I've been here I realized how vital reading is in our daily family routines. I think most mothers and fathers agree that those precious minutes and hours spent huddled over a book supply us with the greatest moments of nurturing. Often we adults learn as much as they do as we look at the world through their eyes. And then there are the educational effects of daily reading with our children. Who dares doubt the enormous good it does. (If you doubt I will lecture you on the difference between my four year old and the four year olds here in Fiji who are not read to!!!)
So, our Theme of the Week Challenge today centers around Books and Storytelling. Do what you want with it. Make a book together. Share your insights about teaching a toddler to read (hint hint, I could really use some of these tips by the way!!). Take a field trip to the library. Tell us your favorite titles. (Please add to the list on Erin's post Reading with Children.) Make a goal to double your reading time. Play storytelling games as a family. Anything works, we'd love to hear how you are incorporating books into your parenting.