Friday, February 7, 2014

Book Review: Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt

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Piled high on my bookshelf are a bunch of children’s books. I’ve bought them over the years, from second hand book stores, children’s book publishers and brand new book shops. I’ve pulled out story books with bright and colourful pictures and stories that lead you into a world of their own. About bunnies and baby animals, about children and summer days, about life in other countries and the Technicolor times in our own India. Initially I bought these books for myself because I just love the rich weave of stories and illustrations. But somewhere in my mind I also knew that when I have my own children, these stories will serve them well. That these books will be displayed on their very own book shelf.

So, when I conceived our baby, one of the first things I thought about were the stories I would read out to him and the pictures that we’d go through together. I want to raise a reader and it’s never too early to introduce children to story books. I’ve started reading out to my baby and give him cloth books and board books to play with (and chew on).

With books on my mind, I picked up the Kindle version of Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt. She refers to a rich treasure of books as honey for her children and family. And really, that’s what books and good stories are all about. That integral extra something that opens up new worlds for families, entertains and enlightens kids and fosters a passion for books.

Honey for a Child’s Heart is divided into two parts – Part 1: Using books to help children grow and Part 2: Best-loved books for children. In the first part, Hunt talks about why she feels books are so important for children and families, quoting examples from her own life and that of other children she has known and observed. If you’ve been toying with the idea of introducing books to your child or wondering when or why you should do that, then this section will be relevant. From what makes a good book to making decision about books, this part lays out the nuts and bolts about raising a reader.

But it’s the second part that I enjoyed more. Chapter 10 through 23 lists out a wide array of books for every age group of children. Whether you have a newborn, a toddler, a pre-schooler or a teenager, there are recommended reading lists with short descriptions of interesting books.

I’ve grown up on a set of stories, while the books I have bought narrate another set of stories. Now, if I add Gladys Hunt’s recommended reading to this potpourri of stories, then we’ve got a rich array of storybooks to offer our child.

Some of the books I want to buy from this list for my little baby – John Graham’s I Love You Mouse, Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Margaret Wise Brown’s Good Night, Moon and some by Dr. Seuss.

What kind of books do you read to your children?

P.s. Other book reviews you might enjoy: The Creative Family by Amanda Soule Blake & 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler by Tsh Oxenreider

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