Spot on piece about bedtime stories from Chris Evans. Heard him talking about this on his radio show a few weeks ago when he also interviewed Frank Cottrell Boyce on the subject. It's difficult to say how such a magical moment or 20 (!) wouldn't be helping you and your child in so many ways but it's also difficult to encourage if you can't see it. I often wondered what the answers would be if I did a survey when I was a HT-who had a bedtime story. I've certainly had many conversations with people who say I don't read to them-they read their reading book to me which is lovely but not quite the same, as reading a story to a child and costing up with a book. I also advocate the power of the chapter story later on-something you can read and wait for the next 'cling holder' .(thanks Grace, always :-) ) This is good when you might already know the book and also when you don't-both is exciting. I can remember vividly reading 'Charlie and the Chocolate factory' to my daughter and anticipating the moment when Charlie unwraps the golden ticket. I wanted to share that with my daughter because you're reading something that stirs up that imagination and sheer enjoyment of that story. When reading 'The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe' the moment when Aslan is taunted whilst tied up on the stone table and you know what happens next but your child doesn't-watching and feeling that sadness but then that joy when you get to the next bit. The ultimate naughtily reading on (can't do that too many times otherwise probably never get to sleep) when you just can't put the book down. What could draw you in to reading more than that? Probably (and I'm speaking as a head teacher here!) nothing much actually-despite having a wonderful reading culture in schools we can only just touch the surface of that feeling. I think we can absolutely try out best to do that especially when we read a whole class book to each class BUT if you're about to drop off into the land of NOD and you have a story to accompany you that really is magic. As Frank Cottrell Boyce points out it's also magic for the adult too. It's a peaceful, special time for all and it can go beyond when a child starts reading. A child is a child throughout primary school, much as we're scared off that point by education and media they are. They have a right to be treated like a child and enter into other worlds, be scared, be overjoyed, be happy, be sad, cry and laugh over a story. That is the power of reading a bedtime story-it's firmly rooted in the right to be a CHILD.
Oliver Jeffers always a winner-have 'Way back home' in Storyshack amongst many other excellent bedtime reads. Here's a few favourites in our house.