Reading has been one of my favorite hobbies for as long as I can remember. Sadly, since having a child of my own I have not been able to finish a single book. However, thanks to the internet available on every mobile device, I do read the trending articles whenever I get a chance.
I have a 19-month-old son, Zain, born in November 2013. I started to read books to him as part of his bedtime routine when he was 2 months old and transitioning from the bassinet in our room to the crib in the nursery. Every night before I put him down to sleep, we read a book. Initially, we stuck to a couple of classics so he would start to recognize them. The first two books we introduced were “Peek-a-Boo Jungle” by Francesca Ferri and the ever popular “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle. Very quickly, these two became his favorites. Little did I know that very soon he would be obsessed with reading books.
Living in New England, you want to spend the summer outdoors as much as you can. It wasn’t until September last year, when he was almost 10 months old and walking, that I started taking him to the library for story and play time. It was like a whole new world opened up for him. He loved seeing all the new books, some of which went home with us for a few weeks. I started to build a small book collection for him at home, too, so he had some of his favorite books at all times. He was always very excited to go to the library, and thus it became a ritual for us a couple times a week.
We live in Peabody, which is part of the North Shore area. Of the three libraries in Peabody, we usually go to the Peabody Institute Library on Main Street. We love the main library because it is huge and has the lovely Sutton Room where all the special music concerts take place. Their children’s section is also pretty big. The only thing lacking there is a weekly toddler story time that is geared for kids under the age of 2. The best toddler-friendly program in the towns around us is at the Peabody Institute Library of Danvers. We loved going there all through the winter. They have an hour-long program a couple times a week — story time is followed by music and dance, with a take-home craft to round it out. I have friends in Melrose and Wakefield and have attended story times at both those towns’ libraries. Those are really great for younger kids and were very enjoyable for my son.
Now that summer is here, we still stop by the library on our way to other activities to grab some books. Zain has learned so many words from all these books. He keeps himself busy with them while this mommy cooks and cleans. Now that he is older, he definitely has preferences on what books he wants to get, and we have to oblige his request to read the books over and over, all day long. I feel so happy that my son shares my love of reading. I hope this develops into a lifelong interest.