One of Ollie and Max's Christmas presents (commandeered by Ollie no less) was This is London by Miroslav Sasek. It's a well known, time honoured, hard backed book about the city we love, full of facts and the most wonderful, detailed and atmospheric illustrations, that have the ability to transport me back to that awe inspiring city.
Ollie adores it, and This is Paris (by the same author). We've read them both to him countless times, but even after only a few times, Ollie was able to finish the sentences and tell us what came next. He continues to amaze me with his sponge like memory and fascination for the amazing detail in Sasek's illustrations.
I'm not sure that I've ever written about Ollie's love of books, which I am beginning to think is unparalleled. Will is a bookworm and I love to read too, although I don't do it nearly as much as I used to. I remember loving story time, and my dad used to take me to the library every Thursday for a while there (I remember the librarian that wore long, flowing '70s style kaftans and bright blue eye shadow with her long brown hair swept back into a big brown bun - she was a librarian version of the brilliant Margot Leadbetter, the height of sophistication to me in those days). I have favourites from my childhood, but we've really started afresh with the boys, buying and borrowing books that we've never seen before, that we like the look of or that we've heard are a hit. Ollie has from day one enjoyed being read to, Max not so much, but he's definitely getting more and more enthusiastic for story time now. The stories by Julia Donaldson, Oliver Jeffers, the illustrations by Axel Scheffler and David Roberts - these only scrape the surface of the book world that Ollie is entranced by and Max is slowly but enthusiastically entering.
So, I've discovered how involved story time can be, how much more there is to a story than just the words and pictures. It is such a lovely thing to read to little ones and I know I will write about this again. In the mean time, it feels good to realise our children have opened me up to a world of story telling and illustration that might have otherwise passed me by.