The Things I Learn from Children’s Books

Journeying with my daughters has been extremely gratifying:  with a child, or two, in tow, I have gained access to places and activities where a solo adult might have received a raised eyebrow.  I have enjoyed the children’s area in many museums, frequented The Magic Kingdom more times than I should be allowed, read all manner of children & young adult books because I had children to read to (or in the case of Older Daughter, to keep up reading with).

Loving Husband & I read Dr Seuss books with wild abandon (remember “One Fish, Two Fish”, “Fox in Socks”), with no apologies for strange spellings & syntaxes!  We indulged in books which afforded great sound effects & wonderful dramatics: The Gruffalo (Julia Donaldson), Dinosaur Roar (Paul & Henrietta Strickland), Where the Sidewalk Ends (Shel Silverstein), The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle) were just a few we all loved.

The darndest thing are the lessons which I have learnt, not by design, but by serendipity: how to live it up, enjoy the moment, how to read a book for the 100th time and still see the wonder in it … to enjoy being a kid!

Just today, Younger Daughter and I were reading The Nutmeg Princess by Richardo Keens-Douglas, and we were given a list of tropical fruit: sapodillas, mangoes, bananas, star-apples, sugar-apples, guavas, oranges, soursops and plums.

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For someone who lives in Singapore where many of these fruits are considered local, I had no idea what sapodillas, star-apples and sugar-apples are.  Younger Daughter and I googled these: 2 out of the 3 turned out to be familiar fruit, just known by other local names (sapodillas = chiku, sugar-apples = custard apple).  I have no idea what Star-apples are.  Can anyone shed some light?

How many of this list of fruits do you know?  how many have you tasted?  We hope you will enjoy exploring some of the less familiar ones.

Older Daughter is now 18, Younger Daughter is 15 (soon to be 16 next month, as she constantly reminds me).  They no longer require to be read to, but I will continue to read with them because I can, and because it is a great way for us to continue this learning journey together.

What have you learnt recently from reading children’s books?



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