Monday, 5 March 2012

Ten Little Ladybirds by Laura Huliska-Beith

C was 6 yesterday. When A was 6, she seemed so exceptionally grown up. C is still (in my head) resolutely my baby. He still looks like a baby to me. This may be because his sister is an exceptionally tall 8 year old, and because I spend my days teaching teenagers, some of whom are taller than me, but I have a sneaky feeling that C will always be my baby, and that no woman will ever be good enough for him.

He is firmly into a chapter of Beast Quest every night for his bedtime story at the mo. I fear that their formulaic nature may start to grate on me by the time we get into double figures, but at the moment I am quite enjoying reading them to him. I was lucky enough that A was not in the least bit interested in the Rainbow Magic books (you know the ones: Fenella the Feeble Fairy, Ginerva the Gender-Stereotyping Fairy, and their ilk.) In fact the only one she ever got out of the library was the one which contained her name, and she pronounced it "just like all of the other ones" after about four pages. Formulaic can work if the original book is good. I know this to be true, because I loved Sweet Valley High. However, the original Rainbow Magic book was trite and dull, and so it followed that the 563 others are also trite and dull. I know, because, having read one, I've read them all.

Anyway, I decided to write today's post on a book that made C like books. He was always interested in his Buggy Buddy books, but was much more keen on emptying shelves and lining Thomas trains up than on sitting on my lap for a story. However, when he got to about 16 months, I found that he would sit and listen to a story, as long as it was Ten Little Ladybirds by Laura Huliska-Beith. It wasn't a particularly thrilling story, but it did have the attraction of ten little plastic bugs built in to the book, which C could faff about with whilst I was reading.

Some evenings when I go up to check that A is not still sitting awake reading Jacqueline Wilson's latest tome in bed until 10pm, I find that C has been reading Ten Little Ladybirds and stowed it at the end of his bed. This always makes me smile. Clearly, it still has a special place in his heart, as it always will in mine.

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