The TableThink team believes in the power of reading and has created TableRead. The mission of TableRead is to inspire all ages to read at least one book a month. I’m excited to join in on the conversation about the power of reading!
As a mom and a teacher, I am passionate about books and love talking with others about what to read and traditions around reading. I love hearing and sharing about what and how families read. I also believe in the power of conversation around books and stories. Reading can be a powerful experience- especially when it is a shared experience with others.
So, I want to share with you about a few books that are great to read and talk about: A book from our bedtime story basket, a book to celebrate winter, and a book that I have come back to several times that seems like a good beginning of the year read.
In our home, we read a lot of books. Partly because I’m an elementary school teacher and mostly because I’m passionate about reading myself and want to introduce my own children to the world of literature.
One time of day that is guaranteed to include reading a story together is bedtime: Take bath, brush teeth, pj’s on, books, and bed. This sequence is routine in our home and nights without one or all of the steps always seems off. We have a basket of books that are special for bedtime stories. There have been a few books that have come and gone, but most of these books are ones that have been read over and over again, year after year. They are the ones that my kids, who can’t read on their own yet, read-by-heart to us. They are the ones that my five year old says are “comfy cozy books”. I couldn’t agree with her more. One of the first and most beloved books in the basket is Goodnight Moon.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (Age 0 and up):
I would venture to say that this classic book is on the shelves of most homes with young kids. And for good reason. There is cadence and rhythm in the way the story says goodnight to all the things in the great green room. The next time you read this classic with your children, notice together the subtle changes in the pictures. Notice the bunny and where he is looking as he is saying goodnight. Notice the mouse and what he is doing in each picture. Notice the moon and how it slowly rises in the window and the room darkens with night. Notice and talk about these things with your children. And it is often in these noticings that they will wonder out loud. And those are the small conversations that have a big impact as your child grows. After a while, it won’t be new noticings like “look at where the moon is now!” But it will be, “why is the moon moving?” and then eventually it will be “I love watching the moon change in the window.” This progression of conversation is part of the beauty of rereading a favorite story together.
The elementary teacher in me loves getting out special books for my kids around holidays and seasons. A classic winter story we enjoy reading each year is The Snowy Day. (Bonus- it’s now been animated into a short movie on Amazon).
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (Age 3 and up):
Just like the comfort of rereading the same bedtime stories, the same is for seasonal books. Books that help welcome and celebrate the changing world outside. This book is about a little boy named Peter enjoying the first snow of the season in his neighborhood. You feel like you are a part of his experience as you can hear, see, and feel along with him. There is so much to notice and talk about in this classic winter story. You can notice the different sounds (crunch, plop, etc), you can notice the different types of footprints, you can notice the different places in his neighborhood. You can talk about different things that are fun to experience and play in the snow, wonder about the science of snow, and even retell and share personal stories of the snow. Just like children enjoy the rereading of their favorite books, the same is true for the stories we tell them, particularly from when we were their age. This a book that lends itself to personal connections. When we can say things like, “that reminds me of…” or “that’s like when I…” we are teaching our kids how to relate to stories and relate to each other.
Okay, I admittedly, in this chapter of my life don’t read as much for myself as I do for my kids and my students. But, when I do I often gravitate towards memoirs. I’m a people person- and I guess that it translates to my reading choices too!
Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner:
I remember the first time I read this book. I remember sitting in the little living room in my first apartment. It was a snow day and I was home enjoying a cozy day and not working on school work. I remember how I only got up to refill my coffee cup and spent the morning reading. I remember how I dog eared page after page. And I remember being inspired. Why read this book? Because you will have a lot to think about and a lot to talk about. One of the things that initially struck me was the intentionality of the author as she was exploring her faith and playing it out in everyday life. And it’s one of those books that I get something more out of it each time I read it.
Join me in being intentional about reading this year- about choosing books that will inspire you, make you think, and give you a starting place for a conversation with others.
January Short List:
- Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
- The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
- Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner
Tiffany Carter is wife (to Drew), mom (to Ellie-5, Jack-3, and Matthew- 3 months), and an elementary school teacher. She loves to read and believes there is no such thing as too many books! She especially loves children’s books and reading with kids.