Four children’s books is the norm for bedtime with my 4-and-a-half-year-old daughter, though that is subject to the night’s choreography. Did we make it to Aquaphor and head scarves at a decent hour? Did she bathe the night before — can we skip it tonight? While she usually chooses the night’s selection, I pride myself on being able to make a children’s book suggestion that she’ll appreciate. This is a parenting skill I’m finding especially essential during the uncertain times and stay-at-home orders of the coronavirus pandemic.
I remember being read to so vividly. Children’s books were absolutely my love language, which has made my approach to this aspect of parenthood — the nurturer, the teacher — so much sweeter. At the end of a long day, we have carved out a place and time for storytelling. These books act as punctuation: What’s the final thought, final feeling before I turn out the lights? A sentimental perspective, maybe, but I can’t help but take pride in growing her library of children’s books, feeding her curiosity. Especially now.
The following are some especially notable children’s books, for the kid in your life who won’t stop asking questions, who should probably have taken a nap today, who you are spending so much time indoors with lately.
How to Be a Pirate by Isaac Fitzgerald, illust. Brigette Barrager
$14(was $18, now 22% off)
This is the perfect story-time opening act, because it both encourages audience participation — specifically, yelling — and delivers a wholly unique set of affirmations that set the tone for the day to come.