My son, Simon, is a year old. His mother and his grandmother are both librarians. His father is, well, me. Simon is, predictably, obsessed with books.
Back before everything changed, we'd gotten into a pretty good reading routine. Every morning before Simon went to his grandparents', we'd read a big pile of books. Every evening when I got home from work, we'd read a big pile of books.
We'd read Goodnight Moon. We'd read Little Blue Truck. We'd read Peek-a Who? and Peek-a Moo! and Peek-a Zoo! We'd read Who Hoots? and Who Hops? We'd read Dear Zoo and Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? and Each Peach Pear Plum and Spooky, Spooky, Little Bat and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? And then we'd probably read them all again.
Now that our whole family stays home all day every day, we still do all the reading. What's lost is the routine. What's lost is any sort of limit at all. From Simon's point of view, there's nothing to stop us from reading all day every day, from when he jams me in the back with his copy of The Mixed-Up Chameleon too early in the morning until he falls asleep wearing one sock and with a clump of Cheerios somehow stuck in his diaper too late at night.
If you've got smallish kids and you're staying home these days, children's literature has undoubtedly become a much larger part of your life than you'd ever bargained for. This hour, a look at what it's like reading kids' books as an adult.
- Bruce Handy - The author of Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children's Literature as an Adult
- Julia Pistell - Managing director of Sea Tea Improv and cohost of the Literary Disco podcast
Colin McEnroe and Cat Pastor contributed to this show, which originally aired April 9, 2020.