I’m sure I don’t have to tell all of you about the benefits of reading to your children. Its a fun thing for the two of you to do together that has so many mental, emotional, and even physical benefits that not a single person in the world advocates against it. Its pretty much the only parenting ideal that is universal. Everybody, whether they advocate attatchment parenting, ferberization, or anything in between, agrees that reading to your kids is one of the best things you can do for them.
I love reading with Elijah (even though he really won’t sit still for a book, and he always wants to turn the pages before the page is up, then turn back a few pages, then turn forward a few pages). I’m hoping that if I keep at it, one day he will love to sit and listen as much as I love to read. A friend of mine had a great idea (it wasn’t my son that inspired it, he just applied the idea he already had to my son) … maybe he’d be more interested if the book were about him.
He had a point. Elijah is really too young to know the plot line of a story, but he’ll sit still a lot longer to look at photo albums of himself. Maybe in a year or so, a book about him would be a great idea.
My friend has just started a company that sells the most customizable children’s books available, MJM Books. Not only can you choose the name and gender of the main character in the books, you can also design the character to look like your child! Well, not exactly like your child, but close enough for your son or daughter to understand that its supposed to be them.
Its a cute gift idea for any kiddo, and I felt like doing a small plug for him here, because he is an old, dear friend of mine from high school, and because I actually think his books are pretty cool. In fact, I’ll be ordering one for Elijah’s second birthday.
Furthermore, supporting small business (and its a local one, if you live in Denver, Phoenix or Chicago, the cities where the brothers who started the company live and run the business out of), is great for the environment and the economy. You can rest assured that everything that goes into the books is totally independent and unique, from the author and illlustrators to the business model itself.
Not only this, but Jeff (my friend) and his brothers are dedicated environmentalists, and they run their company on a very green platform. All of their books are printed on 100% recycled paper and since each book is custom made, there is no wasted printing and inventory. They work within the guidelines set forth by The Rainforest Alliance and the Forest Stewardship Counsel, and they are quick to point out that Jeff does not have a car (so the book’s author is even green in his personal life!). Nor has he ever, that I’m aware of. In high school, he spent a lot of the time tooling around with us in my friend’s mom’s minivan. He also volunteers in a kids reading and writing program. It won’t say so on the website, but Jeff also headed the Green Party at his college, and he recycles.
Check the books out. I think you’ll enjoy them.