“Mom, tell me a stowee,” my daughter R says as we lay together in bed. Her brother has just turned off the lights in our room . My two-year old has her pink stuffed toy ELLIE in a tight embrace as she waits for my impromptu tale.  This night I tell her about Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  She giggles in the dark as I use different voices for Papa bear, Mama bear and Baby Bear.  She quickly learns the too hot- too cold-just right  pattern for the porridge eating part of the story and the too hard- too soft- just right sequence for the chair and bed escapades of Goldilocks. At the end of the story, R says “the m” (thee-em), instead of “the end.”  It’s my turn to grin in the dark. I kiss her good night as she begs for another story. “I’ll tell you another one tomorrow, sweetie. “  She falls asleep soon enough.

Several days later the kids and I went to the bookstore because  my son M wanted to check out the latest K-Zone magazine.  “Mom, where is Goldilocks?” asks R as her eyes wondered from one book to another.  We found the book and she immediately went through the pages. “Too hot! Too cold! Juuussst right!” recited R as she pointed at the pictures.   Her brother M was impressed.

M chooses between THE CALVIN and HOBBES TENTH ANNIVERSARY BOOK and the HOMICIDAL PSYCHO JUNGLE CAT. This was taken inside National Bookstore where we spent the first part of our Mom and son date after the first day of class. I’ve always told him that he cannot ask me to buy toys but he can always ask to buy books.

My experience with M ten years ago was very different .  He was a late talker, so I would read to him as he eagerly took in the images from the books we perused.  Every trip to the mall included a stay in the bookstore.  Even when we travelled, we spent more time in the bookstore than in any Toys R Us outlet. By the time M learned how to speak, he could also read.

My son’s first books included  “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle and  the Caldecott Medal winning “Where the Wild Things Are “ by  Maurice Sendak,   For the talent show in kindergarten,  then 4-year old M recited the lines from  “There was an Old Woman who Swallowed a Fly” in front of his class.  Now at ten, he has read The Little Prince, The One and Only Ivan and a myriad of Marvel-based books.

Carle masterfully illustrated his story . This colorful book is a visual delight to young readers.


A fun and easy read for toddlers.

It’s very important to encourage your child to appreciate books  at an early age.   It doesn’t matter if he/she only looks at the pictures.  That is a good starting point because good visuals stimulate the brain.  I truly believe that there is no better toy for a child than a good book.Tell your children stories at night, during activity time or even when you’re stuck in traffic.  Buy books and put them in a shelf where it can be accessed easily.   There is no limit to a child’s imagination!  In fact, it’s the cheapest way to go on any kind of adventure!

Reading also increases the vocabulary and the spelling ability of your child.   I do recommend however that you also offer Tagalog books  early on.  In a bilingual society , this will be very helpful. I wish I had done this with M before so that he could be fluent in the vernacular as well as he is with the English language.  And please lessen television viewing or the use of any hand held equipment.  It may keep your child quiet for some time but the end result of this no-no practice is disastrous.

So the next time,your child asks you to buy a toy, try bringing him/her to the bookstore.  Invest in reading materials rather than in gadgets.  Now, that’s a challenge for all of us .


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  1. Thank you Tita Pau! You gave me a nice idea… Though I usually bring Tim at the library, it’s good to have his own book.

  2. I’m guilty of feeding the kids with gadgets to have more of that “me time”. This is an eye opener Paulyne. Time for frequent visits in the bookstore.

    1. Don’t worry. Many are guilty of making gadgets as substitute parents. M only had his first hand held device at ten years old and we made sure that he only used it during weekends or for research purposes. Yes, it’s time to include more visits to the book shop. Do tell The BQP how it goes . Good luck REG!:)

  3. I love this post, Paulyne! You have brought up a lot of good points here. “Reading also increases the vocabulary and the spelling ability of your child,” for instance. We oftentimes forget that a child’s vocabulary and ability to spell are connected to a child’s love for books (or lack thereof). And while we truly are in an era where technology and gadgets have created a whole different world for the younger generation, it’s always nice to make sure that we allow our children to keep some time-tested and good old practices that can take them far in life. To this day, my best childhood memories are of our parents taking us to bookstores and encouraging us to buy all the books we want to read. They did not only equip us with the tools that made our summer vacations more fun and creative but they also gifted us with the discipline and passion for life that only reading can give. Yay for this post!

    1. I love this comment! I used to give books as presents for Christmas. It’s very evident that those who thought less of my tidings are the same ones who grew up not being able to express themselves well. Conversely, those who appreciated the books are now eloquent speakers. In fact one niece is a constant contributor to my posts. Thank you Harmony for your insights. I am challenged to come up with more interesting and engaging articles. 🙂

  4. Hi Queen P! The Little Prince is a “Must Read” and I highly recommend it. It’s an all-time favorite in the Domingo household. It was in Katipunan, I remembered the Pancake, the Starbucks, I can’t recall the rest anymore, were significant places where me and my sons would go to and then end up in the bookstore to get their book of interest. Reading should be a habit and therefore has to be started at an early age though it’s never too late for anybody. I wasn’t fond of reading at first, it was them, my kids who encouraged me to improve my love for reading. Worked both ways actually. In reality, this summer vacation will definitely be filled with various trips here and there but this post will just remind us that we can squeeze that little book in the luggage 🙂

    1. “What is essential is invisible to the human eye. It is only with the heart that once can see rightly.” I hope that’s an accurate quotation from one of my favorite books of all time. I’m glad that your kids found their love for reading early on. You’re correct that there it’s never too late to develop one’s love for reading. I’m happy this is the case for you GINA.

  5. I also love books <3. Whenever we pass by a book store on malls, I tell Mom that we should enter… But she refuses because she knows I'll grab another book and we'll buy it. She keeps on saying "You have more books at home that you haven't read." Well, that's true tho :p XD.

  6. Mom is correct to remind you that you still have books left unread. Please use your vacation to finish all of those. I’m sure your parents will be more than willing to purchase a good book the next time you ask….. AND, get your brother started too! 🙂

  7. As as teacher, I am so delighted that a mom would post articles to help children learn to love reading. At this age when everything is mostly techy, children are fascinated and glued to their gadgets. We need to let them experience reading “books”, not just e-books. Roald Dahl’s books are also great for young kids, also those of Dr. Seuss’. Create a reading corner that will interest and engage your children’s imagination. Thanks, Paulyne. Teachers like me really appreciate supportive parents like you. Learning is a life-long process which happens everywhere not just in school. Hail to Her Majesty, The Busy Queen P!

    1. How could I forget Roald Dahl? Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and the Enormous Crocodile to name a few. And now I remember The Witches which was made into a movie starring Angelica Houston! Thank you for the suggestions! I think I will head to the bookstore tomorrow and get my daughter one from his collection. I always appreciate hearing from you Teacher Monica. The BQP bestows her royal seal of approval to this comment 🙂

  8. I love this post! My parents have always encouraged me to read books, from novels to biographies, and they are very enthusiastic whenever I share with them stories of whichever one I have my hands on. Not only has my love for books helped me in enriching my word bank and improving my spelling, it has also helped sharpen my comprehension skills which I think is very important. As always, a post worthy of a royal round of applause BQP!

  9. I remember I gave my dad a children’s book before called “Guess How Much I Love You” by Sam McBratney. He was very touched, and I’m so happy that he was. I really wanted him to know how much I loved him so much. 🙂 Apparently children’s books are good for adults too!

    1. So many good memories because of good books we’ve read. Thank you for this comment Mabie. 🙂

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