Watership Down

I just finished reading Watership Down to the kids. It was wonderful. I’d never read it before and I now find myself talking about elil, frith, and hrududus. The author, Richard Adams, invented a whole language for rabbits called Lapine. Hrududus are motorised vehicles.

Ever since Daniel was a tiny baby we have always read to the kids every day, as part of our bedtime routine. I can remember reading Treasure Island to Daniel before he could even crawl. I doubt he’d remember that.

When the kids were little we mostly read picture books (with the exception of Treasure Island). As they got older we moved onto novels, reading a chapter or so each evening. Reading to your children is so important. It’s not just that it’s good for them intellectually, I think the real benefit is that you’re spending quality time with your child and making them feel valued and loved.

Ben has read quite a lot of the books to the kids at bedtime but I find that when he reads them I fall asleep and miss the story. So if it looks like a good book, I want to be the one to read it aloud.

I recently finished reading The Lord of the Rings to them for the second time. The first time was a few years ago and Elizabeth missed most of it because she fell asleep so I read it all again. As I’m reading Ben corrects me when I don’t properly emphasize italics. He can’t see the text because he’s lying on the other side of the bed – he just somehow magically knows which words are italicized. Similarly, if I try to skip some of the verses in one of the many poems from Lord of the Rings, Ben suddenly wakes from what looked like a slumber to demand that I read the full poem. I’ve never figured out how he could possibly know every verse from every poem in The Lord of the Rings along with the font-weight for all the words.

What are some good books to read to kids?

13 thoughts on “Watership Down”

  1. The Redwall series are fantastic!! Ayrton & Arlo both really enjoy them & make up games to play outside, based on the characters.
    Adelaide loves us reading the Flower Fairy poems to her, as well as Milly-Molly-Mandy.

  2. I used to love reading to our kids when they were little. I think the most fun reads were always the most anarchic books – things like The Twits, and Mr Gumm.

  3. I just read The Hobbit, I’d never managed it before for some reason. I’m not sure about embarking on LoTR yet though, it’s a bit of a commitment in terms of length.

  4. Most of Roald Dahl’s books, Mrs Frisby and the rats of Nimh, Some of David Walliams books, and Louis Sachar’s titles, ‘Holes’ and Fuzzy mud- ‘Hatchet’ is a great story too- I liked the one ‘A monster calls’ by Patrick Ness- Unless you want to dream of talking cats or Bears, I would stay away from the Warrior cats, or another series by Erin Hunter-Gotta go- My son wants me to read the book ‘Awesome friendly Kid’ by Greg Kinney- any of Tim Winton’s books are good too- The power of One by Bryce Courtenay is good too…

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