My Little Sapling

Sapling’s Library & The Importance of Reading

Reading is a passion of mine.  I have read my entire life and still gobble up books like there is no tomorrow which probably isn’t that surprising considering my father teaches English at the University of QLD. The importance of books and reading were instilled in me from birth and reading is as natural as eating or breathing, I am constantly amazed with how many people I know who rarely read a novel.

This love of reading is something I hope to pass onto my children as 2 very clear and positive things have come out of research surrounding children and books:

1. Having lots of books in households with young children equate to more intelligent kids. I’m hoping this doesn’t have to be physical books because I sadly culled 2/3 of my books to make room for her nursery!

2. Reading to children from birth improves their speech, vocabulary and communication which makes dealing with the terrible two’s considerably easier.  Children who can articulate what they are feeling with words are less inclined to resort to tantrums to get the message across.

If like me, your interested in finding out more about these studies or childhood development in general I strongly recommend checking out the Life documentary series. The series follows 11 Australian children and aims to find out what gives children the best chances at life.  I found the studies fascinating and can’t wait for Life at 7 to be released.

I have been purchasing books here and there over the last 4 months and recently made an effort to fit reading to her into her bedtime routine.  While it doesn’t always go exactly to plan, our current late afternoon – to bed routine (the only routine we actually try to stick to!) is:

4:00pm – 5:00pm: Walk Time.
1 hour at a leisurely pace to the local park in the Sleepy Wrap or Baby Bjorn. Hopefully she has a nap during this – sadly it rarely happens she’s too excited looking around.

5:30pm – 5:45pm: Bath Time.
She loves her bath!

5:45pm – 6:20pm: Calm Play/Cuddle Time.
Generally this is with her on my lap in front of the tv with low volume and I cuddle her while she sucks on her dummy and holds her pink bear/security blanket comforter.

6:20pm – 6:30pm: Story Time.
We move into her nursery where she is propped into a corner pillow on the couch and I read her a bed time story.

6:30pm: Feed time.
To keep her feeling secure and initiate sleep time, I always turn the lights off and do this feed with a night light and her Sheep Sleep set to Mothers Heartbeat – a sound which is what she’s gone to bed with since she first came home from the hospital.

7:00pm: Bed time.
Yay! Time for me to have a break, much needed shower and eat dinner.

I’m amazed at how much she enjoys being read to and now she is a bit older its clear to see that she’s definitely curious at the pages turning, the pictures and rhythm of the story – I often get a good giggle out of her even if she’s getting overtired.

While buying books for her I thought back on what books I remember from childhood and I can’t believe how many of them are still considered popular for children today. Currently the books in her library are:

Slinky Malinki by Lynley Dodd

Hairy Maclary From Donaldson's Dairy By Lynley Dodd

Time for Bed By Mem Fox

Possum Magic By Mem Fox

Hattie and the Fox By Mem Fox

Goodnight Moon By Margaret Wise Brown

Mirror Me! By Julie Aigner-Clark

The Very Hungry Caterpillar By Eric Carle

The Wonky Donkey By Craig Smith

Boynton's Greatest Hits By Sandra Boynton

(Includes: The Going to Bed Book, Horns to Toes, Opposites, But Not the Hippopotamus)

Dr. Seuss's Beginner Book Collection By Dr Seuss

(Includes: The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Green Eggs and Ham, Hop on Pop, and Fox in Socks)

Disney Princess Little Golden Book Library

(Includes: The Princess and the Frog, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty)

There are still many books I hope to add to the collection.  Next on the list are Cordouroy and Where the Wild Things Are.  Are there any childhood favourites I’ve missed?


  1. Soooo many….

    Guess how much I love you
    The Gruffalo
    Six Dinner Sid
    We’re going on a bear hunt
    Anything with Maisy

    ….. and it would take me all day to list our 3 shelves full of favourites before moving on to the rest 🙂

    Enjoy – reading together is so wonderful.

    Music is good too – my daughter still listens to her baby go to sleep music. even at 10 years old it’s amazing how it soothes and calms her and settles her down for a good night’s sleep. I only have to put it on and in go her fingers (she sucks her middle two fingers), cuddles up to her Cuski (soft cuddly thing she has had from 2 weeks old) and drifts into relaxed-ness 🙂

    | Reply Posted May 26, 2011, 8:44 pm
    • Lathere says:

      Thanks for the titles! I have The Gruffalo on my list already and will have to look up the others to check them out!

      Music is definitely great – I have a cd of classical music on the piano which I pop on for all her daytime naps. It definitely helps her get relaxed and sleepy and I hope I can keep using it as she gets older 🙂

      | Reply Posted May 26, 2011, 11:11 pm
  2. failed fat lady says:

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    | Reply Posted June 20, 2011, 6:33 am

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