Smiling like Sunshine: On reading and childhood

Monday, 25 April 2011

On reading and childhood

When I became a parent four years ago, I went out and bought a few cloth books:Baby's first books. I am not sure if there were such books when I was born thirty five years ago. My parents were working class people yet, they loved reading and there were plenty of books at home.
The first book I still remember to this day is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. We were living in Germany at the time and I suppose I was four or five years old. Daddy had gone on a trip to Turkey and he came back with this pop-up book. It was my first pop-up book and I was fascinated.
When I was a bit older, they bought me The Tales of the Grimm Brothers. I loved the tales. Rapunzel and Hansel & Gretel were my favorites.
I also remember watching Hansel and Gretel at the theatre.
When I was 7 years old, my parents decided it would be better for me to go to school in Turkey (they were planning to return soon). So I started living with my aunt and her family. I couldn't speak Turkish at all. My aunt, being a primary school teacher, encouraged me to read. And I read. A lot. Not only did this help me improve my language, but I suppose I also found solace in reading.
Two books that I remember from those years are The Silver Skates and The Little Black Fish.
When the summer holiday started in June, I used to go back to Germany. Once we went to the Fairy Tale Forest in Altenberg. It is an enchanted place where most of the fairy tales of Grimm Brothers are represented in huts and figures. Such a beautiful place to visit as a child!
I love reading so much that, from very early on, I  knew the person I would live my life with, would also be a book worm. Leading a busy life with two little people, now we cannot find the time to read as much as we would like to but both of us enjoy reading to our kids. Because we know that children are made readers on the laps of their parents.

This post is submitted to the Brit Mums' Carnival hosted by Playing By the Book this month.


  1. I LOVE your last sentence - it's so true. My DD adores books and right from day 1 we used to make up stories which mesmerised her. Some lovely memories there too of some of my childhood favourites - thanks!

  2. Thanks for sharing this, great article. Reminded me to include shelving, bookends and comfortable chairs as great gift ideas for parents and kids alike

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