Bedtime Stories

Our Story Time Audience

While I admit there are some evenings when our 8-year-old son and I fall into an exhausted sleep on the couch in front of the TV, most nights we prepare for our special ritual of Story Time.  We “jammy up,” brush our teeth, and climb the ladder up into our boy’s cozy loft bed.  Stuffed animals surround us on all sides, and Olivia, our cat, disappears among the audience of fury friends.  We turn on the reading lamp, snuggle down into the waves of Pirate sheets or polar bear themed flannel, wrap ourselves up in the warm blankets, and settle in for Story Time.  This ritual has been a part of our routine since my son was a baby. We worked our way through board books and picture books, from Elmer to Dr. Seuss. Then we moved on to beginning readers and chapter books, from The Magic Treehouse to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  My husband also enthusiastically participates, having unearthed favorites from his own childhood, like the incredible Phantom Tollbooth.  I am so grateful to have passed on the love of reading to my son, who now greedily devours a 350 page Percy Jackson book within a week or two.  But even though he regularly reads novels silently to himself, there is still a wonderful enjoyment in sharing a story read aloud, preferably one with fantastic pictures.

We are currently making our way through D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths.  I am particularly thrilled that my son has enjoyed this book so much since it was one of my dearest favorites from my own childhood. I didn’t own the book, but would check it out of the public library again and again. I love both the stories and the illustrations, which include detailed maps, dynamic adventure scenes, and family trees of the Greek Gods and Heroes.  As we continue through the stories, I am remembering long forgotten favorite episodes, (“Spring comes when Persephone returns from Hades!”) while my son recognizes monsters from the contemporary Percy Jackson books (“I know this one! Percy fought the Calydonian Boar!”)  We just finished the dramatic tale of Jason and the Argonauts on their quest for the Golden Fleece.  As the Sand Man creeps into the room and sleep overtakes us, I imagine boarding the great ship Argo with its magnificent sail and setting off on our own adventures…

Setting Sail on the Argo

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2 thoughts on “Bedtime Stories

  1. I *love* anything by the d’Aulaires. Have you tried Lang’s Fairy Books (Green Fairy Book, Olive Fairy Book, Red Fairy book, etc.)? The folktales from around the world are absolutely incredible.

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