Josh Byers


Writing about books, culture, ministry, design and my family

Bedtime Stories

Mia has reached another milestone in her short life - the ability to listen to a longer book with chapters. About a year ago we tried to read Charlotte's Web one chapter a night and while she loved to read it every night she didn't always remember what had happened the previous night or seemed interested in seeing the story progress. More often than not she wanted to go back and re-read bits that we had already read.


So, while perusing the library a little over a week ago I found myself in the older children's section and noticed that the library had several books sitting on top of the shelf that were being featured for the week. One of the books was The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner. I don't remember the first time I read this book but I loved it. I always had a fantasy about going out and living on my own, making cool and useful things out of common objects and who wouldn't want to build their own swimming pool?

I checked the book out and told Mia I had a special story to read her that night. We got home, Mia got ready for bed and we settled into our big comfy recliner and started the book. And from the first page she was enthralled. She was so interested to know where the children had come from, what was going to happen at the bakery, and why they didn't buy any donuts...

As we neared the end of the first chapter I was very curious to see her reaction when I stopped reading and it was exactly what I had hoped for. She was very disappointed that we had to be done for the night but she was excited that we would get to continue the story the next night. This also served for her as a very good motivator to get ready for bed quickly because we wouldn't read until everything was done.

Well, Mia loved the book and we ended up finishing it in about a week (Mickie read a couple chapters during the day when Mia couldn't wait to see what would happen next). So now I am really excited to be able to share some of my favorite stories with her - the only question is what story will be next? I'm thinking of Matilda by Roald Dahl but we'll have to see.

books, familyJosh ByersComment