My boys, Oliver, 10, and Alexander, 7, are total bookworms just like me and both love to read, listen and storytell themselves. Oliver was asked to write a book for schoolwork last week, a culimination of two weeks worth of research and rewrites that his form tutor set. I wish I could write a book in 14 days!
…Seriously though, reflecting on the past few months, my most favourite family time has been the bedtime hour: me perched on the end of Alexander’s bed which overlooks Oliver’s, reading to them both. Sometimes one or the other might pick up part of a chapter if I tire, before I take over again until they finally fall asleep.
Reading before bed is a ritual I’ve maintained since they were small: focused reading time together and a chance for me to find my way to my childhood through the books I loved as a girl.
I especially enjoy ‘doing the voices’ of the characters, loving nothing more than hearing my sons’ sweet laughter at my accents and intonations (the questions are less sweet, however)!
My sons often ask me to invent stories myself, especially for them, and over the years, a few have stuck, with regular requests I revisit either ‘Supermum’ ,the story of a strong mother with primal powers (can you relate?) who does the school run by day and saves the world by night, and another, I conjured up one night when no one would sleep, which features a family just like ours but instead of Windsor, they live on Mars.
Maybe one day, I’ll write a children’s book for real, for them, for fun, who knows.
This lockdown has appeased any prior waves of mum-guilt I might have felt in not getting through enough books at any kind speed before now, as we’ve practically whizzed through wades of books over the past few months from classics such as the The Lion The Witch and The Wardobe to re-reading the warm and wonderfully uplifitng Cookie by former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq. We delved into the engaging, The Boy Who Fooled The World by Lisa Thompson just last week, and favour having several books on the go at once so we can dip in and out throughout the month.
Now knowing my boys’ passion for books, you can imagine their excitement at receiving the brilliant Bring A Book To Life gift boxes: a brand new, orginal and engaging reading experience for kids aged 6-8 and 9-12, respectively.
Founded by Kate Andrews, a primary school teacher of 15 years, her brainchild boxes were such a pleasure to upack, a sensory feast with jingling silver bells and crinkled streams of red paper hiding trinkets and treasures and books underneath.
A curated box of texts, toys, drawing pencils, notelets, Russian dolls to paint, postcards, magnets and even sachets of hot chocolate to rustle up for when you read, these are boxes which encourage kids to make a ritual out of reading, and rightly so.
Reading is not just a life skill but a gift that will last a lifetime, transporting you through the thoughts of others into their minds, over time, geography and place, it is a joy to read and keep on reading. A ticket around the world is waiting.
The boxes’ theme changes with each month and fittingly, ours belonged to Magic with books The Magical Kingdom of Birds by Anne Booth and A Pinch of Magic by Michelle Harrison for each boy, alongside thoughtful letters from the authors and a note from Kate the founder, making reading, and even writing a book, seem that more tangible and real. These boxes really do inspire their recipients, and on so many levels.
A perfect gift for a child up to the age of 12, sparking imaginations and encouraging inventive play, Bring a Book To Life is a beautiful box of total wonder and promise. A promise to transport you far, far away.
I’d love to see an adult version of this concept as think that too, would fly.
Thank you Kate and congratulations on your ingenious business and for your attention to detail, it’s turned your literary boxes into something truly magical.
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Two boxes were gifted without any obligation. I was happy to review the boxes here and champion this small business which we were all incredibly impressed by.
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