B and I have loved reading together since he was a few weeks old. From the wonderful That’s Not My Baby/Monster/Dinosaur books, to all the traditional fairy tales, and then the delights of Julia Donaldson. We worked through them all. When B was only 7 months old he could pick out The Gruffalo or The Smartest Giant in Town. He just seemed to have an affinity with books. He taught himself to read with the retro Peter and Jane series. He couldn’t get enough of any kind of book.
And then he stopped. Just like that. This little boy who loved stories, non-fiction, magazines, any form of literature, just stopped. I’m trying to remain relaxed about the whole thing, but it really does concern me. At first I thought it could be a reaction to leaving school. He found working through the book levels at school very repressive. Constantly having to choose from a certain colour coded book, instead of having the freedom to choose a book that sparked his interest really riled him. He’d read the books in the car home almost to prove how quickly he could do it. It stopped becoming a joy, and more of a bind, which can’t be a good thing.
So to rekindle his interest we’ve been on a bit of a mission. From starting a reading diary (not very successful) to logging all the books we do read on Good Reads (slightly more successful). We’ve set up a reading nook in the playhouse in the garden to give us a cosy area to read together (we used it once).
So I stopped. I felt really uncomfortable just letting go, but I knew I had to take a complete step back and let him come back to it in his own way. B still loves a non-fiction book, so I had no qualms that he wouldn’t read at all, I just worried how much pleasure he used to get from books that had gone.
And then the master of story telling, the most amazing author, the one that brought so much delight to my own childhood, the splendid Roald Dahl began to get him back into books. One night the one and only BFG dropped by our house one night with a dream jar. It seemed the only way to rekindle the literary love affair was to bring the books to life. And so for the time being, bedtime is a time for story telling and adventure once more. B’s not reading himself again yet, but his love of stories is on the way back, which is a very good place to start.
We’ll be telling you all about our dream jars adventures soon. Don’t miss it!