Sunday, 27 November 2011

Bedtime stories...

My children are getting older.

It's only just recently that I realise I don't actually need to read them bedtime stories any more.

Olivia is voracious in reading her own material.

Charlie is well on his way, devouring all manner of "information" books. He is a non-fiction aficionado.

And Lexie still loves a picture book. But insists on reading it herself. She works through a pile of ten by herself, and drops them all from the bed onto the floor as she falls asleep.

The days of timing baths and bedtimes to enable each child the opportunity for us to read them a long story are slipping away.

Unless, of course, they are tired. Then they resort to a little more cuddly behavior.

I offered, the other night, for them all to get into my bed instead of theirs. And I offered story reading. There was much bickering over which stories and who secured which position in the bed next to me  - three children - one mummy, someone, apparently, always "misses out"...

We read, together, several times, a range of beautiful books called "Little Treasures" by Peter Carnavas.

Oh, how lovely it was! Snuggled up, it reminded me of when my three were a lot smaller. But in this current era of grown-up-ness, they could of course appreciate the stories so much more. The tales and the message. And the stories were as appealing to me as they were to them.

Jessica's Box explores friendship and self worth - so pertinent considering Lexie has just this term started at school.

Sarah's Heavy Heart is heart meltingly lovely. The illustrations in all of Peter's books are simply sensational, but I especially love the big red heart depicted in this little tale. We can all identify, I hope, with the idea of a heart getting carried away, particularly with a friend..?

The Important Things, quite frankly, had me in tears. It's centred around a little boy whose father has faded from his life. I sobbed at the tales sweetness and of course this evoked some really vital conversations with the kids, which gave us all an opportunity for gratefulness and awareness. Charlie, who is very family aware, and sensitive to the changing nature of relationships, kept patting me. It was adorable.

All three of my children were fascinated by the story of the Last Tree in the City. Touching on the environment, the story was sad, but I was amazed at how quickly my kids began talking to me about their own perceptions of the story and indeed of their own natural world in relation to local environmental issues.

Olivia, Charlie and Lexie have requested these books to be read to them every single night for a week. High praise.

The illustrations are as magical as the stories are satisfying to read. The tales are wonderful for evoking lovely interesting conversations.

If you find yourself needing a little snuggle with your kids, and an opportunity to just chat with them, these books are actually ideal for a really broad age range. I would totally recommend them. At this time of year, these small books are perfect too, for stocking presents for Christmas.

The Little Treasures range of books by Peter Carnavas are available in all good bookshops, and online.

I have two sets of these Little Treasures, to give away.

To enter, all you need to do is make sure you are following my blog, and then leave me a comment, telling me your favourite bedtime story memory. (If you'd like to share via Twitter and Facebook too, that would be wonderful!)

Open to everyone and all my readers worldwide, - I am happy to post these internationally. Winners will be picked via Random.Org and announced this time next week...

Good luck!

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  1. Oh Lucy these sound amazing! I'd love the chance to win a set. Not that I need any excuse to cry, I'm a sap for anything lovely (in fact I cry more at nice things than sad ones! what does THAT say about me?!)

    Annnyway... favourite bedtime memory, hands-down number one has to be: My father reading me the Winnie The Pooh books (When We Were Very Young was wonderful as read by my Dad!). And he also had a penchant for making things silly - as Dads do - and used to overact Cinderella crying as she chopped wood. VERY funny to a 5 yr-old!

  2. It's funny I have been thinking a lot lately about when my parents read to me. Also it's been in the news a lot about how reading to kids improves literacy. I loved it most when my Dad would read to us - i can't remember the stories, but we would be fed and bathed when he got home from work and that would be his time with us! memories that are so precious now because he moved out when I was 7 or 8!

  3. Oh what beautiful books, I think I'm going to buy these if I'm not lucky enough to win :)
    My favourite books that mum and dad used to read to me growing up included the Avocado Baby (and I still have a treasure our copy of this!), The Enchanted Woods (well actually most Enid Blyton books) and Possum Magic.
    I love listening to my Dad now read books to my nieces and nephew- he does the best voices!!
    Such awesome memories x

  4. My favourite bedtime story moments (there are two) are of times when we would visit my grandfather in NSW and he didn't read stories to us, but would tell us "bush yarns" about people he had known or stories from when he was growing up. I am sure that many of these stories had some rather creative embellishments added to them, but that is the nature of a "bush yarn."

    The second memory is of my mother reciting "Vespers by A.A. Milne" to my children on her last vacation with us before she passed away. It's something I treasure and still brings warm hearted tears to my eyes.

  5. We have a couple of these stories and enjoy reading them very much.

    They are lovely books, I must look out for this set.

  6. I honestly dont remember my parents reading to me at bedtime - i know that they did, but as i was a voracious early reader and was able to read to myself in kindergarten, i'm too young to remember the bedtimes stories clearly.
    However, my favourite memory is of reading " James and the Giant Peach " to my sister over the course of a week or two. I was 7 years older than her and fancied myself a pretty awesome reader, and my 3 year old sister was happy to listen!

  7. My parents didn't actaully read me books but they definitely ended the day with a good old Greek history story, poem or myth. I grew up on Hercules, Medusa and The Odyssey. Stories I would love to continue on to my son. Thanks for the opportunity to win the Little Treasures books!

  8. I have to be corny and say my favourite memory is every night in our house. Booktime, coming after teatime and shower (or bath) time and just before teethtime, toilettime and bedtime, is always on my bed, with my girl on one side, my boy on the other and a bub in my belly (who never fails to wake up and get involved in booktime). My preschooler boy reads his reader and does his 'decoding' book, with the 'help' of his little sister. Then I read one longer or 2 shorter books, then we have a few minutes cuddletime before I send them off. I'm due for #3 now and I must admit, I have been wondering where he will fit in this arrangement! We'll work it out!

  9. My favourite memory was reading, 'Bears in the Night', as I could join in all of the words and the actions. I would hate to know how many times we read this one!

  10. Oh wow! My favourite memory is being ready "Hairy McLarey from Donaldsons dairy' by my mum when I was about 6 - I see now they're having a stage play at Sydney Opera House of this book and am very tempted to make the drive from Canberra to Sydney to take little Miss :)

  11. What a beautiful prize! My favourite memory is of my 2 years reading to ME! She had memorised one of her favourite books, and out of the blue insisted on reading to me one night which was so sweet

  12. My favorite bedtime story memory is of my mum telling my sister, my brother and I stories of when she was a little girl and the things she got up to in 'the olden days'!

  13. Finding books that suit my two girls is always a bonus. At 5 and 2 they are still a bit apart with choices, these sound lovely. I can't imagine stopping bed time stories, it is one of my favourite times of the day.

  14. That's gorgeous about your child patting me. My favourite memory is actually my dad reading us a story and trying to talk in a woman's voice for female characters. Used to have us in stitches laughing.

  15. My favorite bedtime memory would be my Mother reading book after book when we were unwell. So very soothing & comforting when you are ill. It's a daytime bedtime memory that makes me smile.

    I follow: Mary Preston


  16. What gorgeous books Lucy. Really I don't remember being read stories, which now that I think about it is a bit sad! So my favourite memory is with my own kids, especially Miss 6. When she was younger she used to pretend she was a cat and curl up next to me and then smooch my face after the book. So sweet x

  17. Following you. My favourite bedtime memory was reading Noddy books with my dad. He would work away a lot and bring home a Noddy book for me.

  18. As a teacher I am lucky.... My students have to listen to the stories i read to them daily.... It's written in my plans! They actually look forward to that time of day.....

    Glad your kids love a good book...

  19. I used to make my dad read me this great story that had a whole host of relatives coming to dinner. As each guest arrived it repeated all the ones who came before "great uncle Bruce, second-cousin Alice..." I'm sure it drove him mad but he humoured me. I wish I could remember the title so I could get it for my kids to torture their dad :) I follow by email.

  20. Watching my 3 yr old squeezing in beside her rugrat little sister and reading her stories from the pictures is absolutely priceless to me. I simply love reading them stories and can't wait for our book "advent calendar" to start :)
    I don't remember stories at bedtime as a child, and I only remember a handful of books aimed at toddlers in the house. But dad took us to the library nearly every week and some of my best memories are of us all piling into dad's bed on a sunday morning to read the "posh" paper and do the crosswords with him.
    These books look gorgeous - I'd love to have them for my girls. Thanks so much for the chance

  21. I have a few fav reading memories but one is reading to my second oldest girl and she just started to read page after page telling me the words sge was 3 at the time i was very proud and too this day she is my biggest book worm.

  22. Mum generally read us story books in the evening, but it was a real treat when Dad did it! Mum tended to stick to the script, but Dad was always introducing extra characters and storylines, and made the books so much more interesting. And of course as it was the '70's, we only had a few books each, so had heard the stories hundreds of times beforehand! Now my Dad repeats his tricks with his Grandkids and they absolutley love it!

  23. When my grandma came to visit, she'd tell us stories from my Mum's childhood. We especially loved to go to sleep listening to memories from their year living in Scotland, and travelling there and back by boat.

    natalie_bond85 {at} hotmail {dot} com

  24. I love it when a book we borrow from the library becomes such a favourite that Mr 4 doesn't want to return it. We do anyway, and if we're all good, it turns up on the kitchen table - one that we can keep.

    Most times, the book is rote learnt and can be prattled off with the smallest of hints :D

  25. Following you!
    My favourite bedtime reading memory is with my son, when I read The Very Hungry Caterpillar to him. We've read it so much he knows it by heart, so even though he can't ready yet he pipes up in certain bits and says what's happening. So cute!
    djchilds at hot mail (dot) com

  26. Reading pop up books with my son....most have a torn "pop up" as I try to protect the pages from him but sometimes his fingers are faster than mine.

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