Axel’s school just wrapped up the book fair, and the thrilled book buying preschoolers were adorable. The popular choices in our house: Library Lion, a train and Lego book, and the very pink and extra sparkly Goldilicious, Axel’s first venture into the world of magical unicorns.
Of Axel’s choices, I’m much more partial to Library Lion, with its gentle story hour-loving beast, especially because, in our house, story time has the same taming effect.
Break out a book with flaps to lift, and Jonas channels his aggression into ripping the flaps into delicious shreds. Suggest a story, and Axel will happily eat a few more bites of breakfast while hearing about Corduroy and his pocket, or Mouk’s international travels.
And now, hearing a made-up story has become one of Axel’s favorite bedtime delaying tactics, and, since I’ve been known to stay up for hours reading by flashlight, I can’t blame him. He’s passed from demanding one more round of a lullaby to asking me to make up one more adventurous tale of the sock monkey private investigator, or hearing about one of the other cast of characters. There’s nothing better than turning off the light, snuggling under the covers, and whispering about our favorite tale of happily ever after under the night light’s glow.
There’s the story of Alexander the ice skating goose, and Princess Bumble Bee, a forest-dwelling beauty who rescues baby animals (along with her trusty sidekicks, Axel and Jonas, and their resourceful toolbox). Sometimes, Axel request tales about Mickey Mouse, who, in our house often ends up scaling Everest, rowing across the Mississippi, or inventing a new kind of cheese.
My father, the original family storyteller, used to line up my brother, cousins, and me on the floor, squashed like sardines underneath the dining room table, and spin tales about giant kid-eating monsters who carried special butt-shaped spoons. Then, he’d bellow, “No laughing!” as we giggled uncontrollably. That’s one of my favorite childhood memories, along with my mother bringing us on summertime visits to the best bookstore in Denver, and giving in as my brother and I begged for armloads of books.
Now, we all sprawl out on the carpet with our book in hand. Jonas’ book is often upside down, and, sometimes, Axel reads his book to Jonas, while asking me to read a book to him, so we’re in a circle of overlapping stories, hungry caterpillars and marmalade loving bears overlapping with our family’s own personal ice skating goose and feisty fairy princess.
What are your kids’ favorite stories and bedtime tales?