That prams and art are not mutually exclusive.

Feed your kids books for breakfast

The other night, after finishing his school readers, 6-year-old Louis picked up Oliver Jeffers’ Incredible Book Eating Boy and we folded ourselves into his single bed, beneath the thick sandwich of blankets.

“This is my favourite.” I said.

“It’s my favourite too,” he agreed.

I opened the cover, turned the title page but before I could begin, Louis started to read it to me.

Louis read through the first page. Then the next. And the next. I hung back, waiting for the moment when he would stumble and get stuck and lose his cool. But he didn’t, he just kept going. He read the whole book, one bite at a time, right up to the bite mark on the back cover, which both of my big boys find fascinating.

(Nicely done Jeffers, nicely done.)

What’s happened in the past 6 months of school is that Louis has learned to read. Ridiculous, I know. We’ve taken a perfectly wild and rambunctious young male, taught him the alphabet, letter sounds and 200 of the most common words in the English language, and he’s packed them into his tool kit and now the boy can read. He can climb onto his toy box and choose pretty much any picture book on his shelves and read it to himself.

Not because he’s clever – although he is – and not because I’m bragging. The only thing Mr Karen and I have done for this boy is give him a broad selection of books to read, and read to him every day. All those stories slipped in before nap time and bedtime, in the doctor’s waiting room, at Nan’s house, they’ve all piled up high enough that he can now climb on top of that word heap and reach for the stories himself, even where some words may seem slippery and unfamiliar.


It’s so simple really. Feed your kids books for breakfast, and you will feed their curious appetites. The worst that can happen is a case of mild indigestion.

And I just have to share this anecdote from Maurice Sendak about another boy with a big appetite:

What was the last book you read that made you want to eat it?

8 Responses to “Feed your kids books for breakfast”

  1. Gill

    The only thing you and Mr Karen have done is the most important thing…in my mind, at least. Jeffers is a favorite in our house too. Oscar loves to ask ” Who is the author of this book, Mummy?” whenever we begin a new book and Hugo has recently discovered the beauty of exclamation marks. Both boys pull me up if I forget to add emphasis to a punctuated word! Books for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I say.

    • the rhythm method

      Louis discovered exclamation marks recently too. He relishes adding extra zing to each exclaimed word. Who knew punctuation could be so exciting … !

  2. Gill

    Oh and in answer to your question, this morning we bought “The truth about penguins” by Meg McKinley….It was delicious!

  3. edenland

    We have that book! And love it. (And the term “Mr Karen” .. is not dissimilar to the term “Hulkie.”) xx

  4. Carly Findlay

    I was very sick as a child. Lots of time in hospital and having treatment at home. I’d read so much, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity. I don’t read as many books as I should now.

  5. Papel vs digital | Buhobooks Editorial Infantil Bilingüe

    […] Feed your kids books for breakfast ( Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. September 21, 2012 by Buhobooks Editor Categories: Books, Emprender, Illustrators, Publishing | Tags: apps, álbum bilingüe, álbum digital, bilingual readers, Books, Children, Children's literature, creamebooks, cuento digital, cuento infantil en inglés, digiital book, E-book, editorial bilingüe, english apps, illustration, interactive book, marina and the little green boy, oliver jeffers, pam the fightful plant, Publishing, Shopping | 2 Comments […]


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