max's words

March 11, 2009

Sometimes, our kids have a hard time listening while we do the bedtime routine. And by sometimes, I mean every night.

When it’s really not going well, I have to warn them that we won’t read a story if they don’t listen better. That almost always works. On the rare occasion that we do skip the story, I feel punished as much as they do. Storytime is sacred at our house.

I love cuddling up. I love a few quiet moments together to wrap up the day. And as a 38 year old man, I’m not ashamed to admit that most of the time, I love the stories too. They often mingle imagination and values in a few pages that “grown-up” stories might take chapters to accomplish.

Max’s Words found its way into our home because our youngest is named Max. But it has become one of my favorites, both because of the story and the illustrations. It’s the story of a little brother who admires the stamp and coin collections of his older brothers. When his brothers won’t share with him, Max begins a collection of his own…words:

When Benjamin put his stamps together, he just had a bunch of stamps.
What Karl put his coins together, he just had a pile of money.
But when Max put his words together, he had a thought.

I can’t read this story without an urge to sit down and craft a few sentences. And while this one is a favorite, I end storytime almost every night with a little inspiration of my own. Whether you have kids or not, might I suggest that you put together a small library of children’s books for those times when you need a kickstart. Of course, Dr. Seuss is also high on my list. If you have others to recommend, please share them in the comments.

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