Posted on | March 20, 2012 | 4 Comments
One of the most pleasurable times of the day is storytime.
I get to look at pictures and snuggle a calm child. Most importantly it signals the countdown to when the kids get ‘shut off’ and I can go and watch inappropriate TV and eat frozen Big Turks in peace.
Like everything, books come in the full spectrum of quality. I have to admit that there are some books out there that are so flipping irritating to read I often sit there starting at the book and wonder what the writer, editor and sometimes the illustrator were thinking.
The helpful lass that I am, I’ve compiled a little list of things that irritate me at the moment. Writers, editors and illustrators take note if ya want. (This list may change in a year but here goes…)
1. Read your book aloud…ten times a night; for a month; to an audience…without showing them the pictures.
How’s it holding up?
As readers, parents often don’t get to bask in the illustrations. If the words aren’t fun to say, chances are the book is heading to that ‘special spot’ in the thrift store pile.
Yeah, yeah. Don’t read the same book again and again or even two nights in a row. A sucky book still sucks.
2. If your character sings a song, for fugs sake give us a tune or at least make the ‘song’ rhyme.
Don’t tell me to flipping be creative(!) here. I used up all my creativity trying to get through supper without throttling my kids.
For example: (seriously, try to sing this and not sound like a doof.)
3. Before playing with a “fun format” sit with a 35lb kid on your lap on a small chair and try to read it. Long, large, horizontal board books look awesome on the shelf but in reality, every time you turn a page, your kid gets bashed in the nose. Heavy books suck too because you have to hold them at the top to stabilize them.
(I get it…these are more for group reading, but still. Guh.)
4. Ok. So this isn’t really necessary, but yesterday I had an hour long discussion while my kid cried on the potty after reading a book the night before. He was afraid a monster was going to eat his poo. He was terrified. Often I’ll turn the page and swear silently as something scary comes popping out of a recognizable object foreshadowing some serious “discussions” in the days to come. While I love monsters (no seriously…love) sometimes I wish books came with warnings:
And of course:
5. Well written book + interesting and well crafted illustration + good typography and design = happy, happy storytime.
Thanks and goodnight.
WHAT BUGS YOU?