Please let me read to you!

My boy’s growing up and I don’t like some of it. I can live with the sudden desire not to be observed in the bathroom, the refusal to be kissed and the fact that he doesn’t support the same football team as me – but does he really have to stop me reading aloud to him at the age of eight?

I can remember those gorgeous days when he was a toddler, cuddled up on the sofa together surrounded by a dozen much-loved, mauled and chewed Hairy Maclary and Slinky Malinki books by the wondrous Lynley Dodd. Later there were the superbly comforting Alfie stories by Shirley Hughes (I defy anyone whose children match the older boy, younger girl set-up not to cry at the end of Annie Rose Is My Little Sister) and then the dizzily imaginative world of Roald Dahl.

But after he turned eight, the regular bedtime ritual began to change. Sure, we still make him read to us but more often than not, he’d then snatch the book away and disappear to his own room to get on with it by himself. Now six months later he never wants us to read to him … and I really miss it.

To make it worse, it’s the usual monkey see, monkey do – his younger sister, at six, is also starting to opt out sometimes. It’s not every night but perhaps half the week, she also rejects my chirpy ‘Shall I take over now?’ and heads off to read to herself.

A while back I heard a 10 year old on Stephen Fry’s English Delight explaining how crucial it is for parents to read to their children. If only they’d let me…

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A bit about this blog

‘Would your child enjoy being part of a fun, lively book group?’ That’s how our first message to everyone on our respective email lists started back in March 2014.

Four mums had got together to set up Saddleworth Children’s Book Group for children of primary school age.

Since then we’ve held loads of fun events –  including ones themed around Harry Potter and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, dragons, maps and the First World War. We’ve been orienteering around Dovestones and explored the wonders of John Rylands Library … and we’ve had a lot of cake.

All our events have been aimed squarely at children (though we hope parents have enjoyed them too) but this blog is more for the grown-ups, as a way to share recommendations about books and reading, talk about some of the issues we often discuss at our get-togethers and perhaps start a few debates.

Please also follow us on Twitter @saddleworthCBG and keep in touch with events through our Facebook page.