The magic of stories
Bedtime stories are a big deal in our house.
Stick Man, Not Now Bernard and Giraffes Can't Dance are just some of the favourites on loop each evening. They take pride of place at the end of our 2 year old's bed.
Some of her books are gifts, recommendations from friends and their children (Goodnight Moon).
Some are stories I loved as a child and have tracked down on eBay late at night (There's a Hippopotamus On Our Roof Eating Cake).
Then there are some new discoveries that caught our eye in a local bookshop.
Stanley's Cafe by William Bee I found when pottering on a lazy Sunday morning in Wimbledon Village. This particular morning I put myself in charge of the book selection, refusing to be sucked in to buying another book with a certain pink pig on the front.
It was the beautiful illustrations that first caught my eye.
The book tells the simple tale of Stanley the Hamster and his day to day life working in a cafe.
Setting up the cafe for the day, cooking breakfast, baking a birthday cake, washing up and home to bed. Stanley's routine was quickly picked up by our 2 year old. It wasn't long before she knew the character Myrtle (regular customer) likes 'a nice cup of tea' (much like mummy).
When our little girl wakes up in the morning she will often be heard (on the baby monitor) reading Stanley to her toys in a kind of gibberish language but with the intonation of an adult narrator.
A few weeks ago I discovered Stanley's Colours. It's a smaller in size board book introducing little ones to colours through modes of transport. Our little girl would listen intently and I could see the penny drop as she gradually started to pick up and repeat the names of the colours in front of her.
The end of the day always feels the toughestThe exhaustion of having two children under 3 kicks in, the caffeine has worn off and my bed is calling. But storytime and watching our toddler devour the words and stories in front of her is magic.
Before you know it that 'just one story' has turned into five and a happy little girl full of imagination has nodded off to sleep.