Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Tag: storytelling dads

Storytelling dads – Richy Black

fathers-story-week-logoThis is it, the final post to celebrate Fathers Story week, people often say that they left the best to last, but in this case we haven’t. We do however have a fine gentleman to finish off this series of guest posts from storytelling dads, one that drove for over an hour just to watch me kayak across a loch at the end of the Scotland coast to coast.  That makes him a top bloke in my book!

You may also know him from his starring role in the 12 dads of christmas where he displayed his amazing keyboard skills. He also writes a pretty awesome blog called the only boy in the house which as you might guess from the name is all about his life as a dad to 2 daughters.

So here without further ado is the final set of answers from a storytelling dad, I hope you’ve enjoyed this series, I’ve certainly enjoyed reading them. If you’re a dad reading this and don’t read to your kids then maybe this might have inspired you to give it a go, if you’re a parent who already loves reading with your children then perhaps you’ve found some inspiration for new books to read.

Also one final mention for my run for charity, next month I’m running 100km along the Ridgeway to raise money for Save the Children. My main reason for choosing them is their change the story campaign which is all about giving the UK poorest children the chance to have a good education and specifically learn to read. If you are like the dads who have featured this week and think storytelling and reading are essential for all children then I’d love for you to sponsor me and help Save the Children with this important campaign. You can find my sponsorship page here.

1. What’s the best thing about reading to your children?

Being out of the house all day, five days a week, anything that involves spending time with the kids is special, and reading to them is extra special because it’s such an intimate thing. Reading together is also a great way to see them progress – from completely passive, to looking at pictures, to reacting to the words, and now, with Heather, being able to read some of the words all by herself. Amazing!

2. Where do you read to your children?

Anywhere and everywhere, but mostly in their rooms at bedtime, or on the sofa.

3. All dads like doing voices when reading, what’s your party piece when it comes to impressions?

The one which springs to mind – and it’s one I haven’t read for a while, because it’s often too long for bedtime – is The Troll by Julia Donaldson. It’s two stories in one, one about a troll and another about some pirates, and the stories come together at the end. The troll always gets this gruff, East End of London voice (Gregg Wallace from Masterchef, but a bit more sinister) and the pirates get these terrible pirate voices that probably sound nothing like they do in my head. Amusingly, after we’d had this a while I discovered that Gem had independently given the troll the same voice I did!

4. Favourite book from your childhood?

Can I pick more than one? I’d have to say the Mr Men books, which have now been passed on and our kids enjoy them too

 

5. What’s your children(s) favourite book now?

They both like pretty much anything by Julia Donaldson, which is handy because they’re all good. Heather also loves a bit of poetry, and has an AA Milne collection plus another from various authors including Robert Louis Stevenson. Special mention also has to go to Penguin by Polly Dunbar – although I haven’t read it for ages, it was a favourite of both girls for a good while, and I can’t leave it out.

6. Last book you read them?

I think the last thing I read either of the girls was a poem from one of Heather’s books, called My Shadow (http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poetry/poems/my-shadow). It’s by Robert Louis Stevenson, and is probably her absolute favourite poem.

7. Book that your children love but you secretly hate?

Fortunately for me, I can’t actually think of one! I don’t know if that says more about me or the kids… or if I’ve just been very good at steering them away from books I didn’t like the look of/had read far to often in a short space of time. Gem really can’t stand the collection of Dora the Explorer stories, but even that doesn’t bother me. Apart from the one that’s written in the third-person which, for me just doesn’t work. Maybe that’s my answer!

Storytelling dads – Tom Briggs

Friday is here, the weekend is in sight and it’s time for the 5th entry in this series about storytelling dads to celebrate Fathers story week.

Today I have a guest post from Tom Briggs to share with you, Tom is a dad blogging legend who apparently won a blog award before parent blogging had even been invented. Tom blogs at Diary of the Dad and is also a member of the love all dads podcast. Here’s his answers to the now familiar questions to give a little insight into the reading he does with his children.

If you missed the first 4 posts in this series you can find them here.

1. What’s the best thing about reading to your children?

It’s a great way of spending time with them and, as my two sons, Dylan and Xander, are hurtling towards a stage where they don’t want to be hugged as much, is a good way of tricking them into cuddling up. Plus I can legitimately say I’ve finished reading hundreds of books as a result – I didn’t read much until they were on the scene!

2. Where do you read to your children?

For the most part, I read to them at bedtime. We sit together on one of their beds and they choose three stories. That’s the theory anyway… it normally gets to five or six before they allow me to turn the light out!

3. All dads like doing voices when reading, what’s your party piece when it comes to impressions?

I give every character a different regional accent, but it’s tricky to pick a favourite – Geordie, Welsh and proper old Sussex are up there though. In terms of impressions, I don’t really do many of actual people, but we recently read Eric Carle’s “Slowly, slowly, slowly,” said the sloth and I gave him the voice Ralph Brown uses in Wayne’s World 2. Albeit minus the reference to obtaining 1,000 brown M&Ms to put in a brandy glass…

Tom reading4. Favourite book from your childhood?

There were so many books I loved as a kid. One of my favourites, though, was Dogger. It’s a shame the word has new connotations now as it’s a story I very much related to as I temporarily lost my favourite toy – a cuddly dog – at least twice. I remember being so upset and the book really captured the sense of loss children have when their special toys go missing and, happily, the joy of being reunited with them.

5. What’s your children(s) favourite book now?

They both love all the Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler books, but their favourites change from one week to the next. At the moment though, Dylan’s favourite is Superworm and Xander’s into Room on the Broom.

6. Last book you read them?

It was That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown which we got out from the library. They both loved it and knew it word for word by the time we had to return it!

7. Book that your children love but you secretly hate?

This is going to be controversial, but I’m going to say the Mog series. I loved them as a child, but can’t see beyond the out-of-date attitudes towards gender roles now. I know they’re a product of their time, but it still irritates me and I think that Mr Thomas is an awful person. To balance this out, I will say that Judith Kerr’s other famous title, The Tiger Who Came to Tea remains a family favourite.

Storytelling dads – Sam Coleman

Welcome to Thursday and the 4th post in the series to celebrate Fathers story week, if you happen to have missed the first 3 posts you can find them here. Today I have the great pleasure of sharing a guest post with you from Sam Coleman who writes a beautifully written blog called Dust and Love which is about his life as a dad.

He’s also now a published author having released a book on parenting last year called Sometimes you have to bite the dog. So if anyone is qualified to talk about storytelling dads then I think it might be him. So here without further ado is Sam’s thoughts on reading with his daughter.

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1. What’s the best thing about reading to your children?
Hearing her laugh. Any blackened, hate filled day is filled with light if I can make her laugh.

Reading is great for playing with words, visualisation and finding confidence in expressing yourself. And it’s not about the words or the pictures on each page. It’s about how you can enhance the story by using your imagination which, in turn, gives your child the tools to create their own stories.

Storytelling gives access to the imagination and encourages free creative thinking. It also creates memories that will last a lifetime. My father openly cries when I read the same books to my daughter as he did for me when I was her age. Storytelling is fundamental to the growth of the creative spirit. Only you can teach your children how to tell their own stories.

Start a sentence with “once upon a time” and let them fill in the blanks. You don’t need a book to tell a story.

2. Where do you read to your children?
Mostly her bedroom but it depends on her mood. She’s a big fan of reading when she’s on the potty.

3. All dads like doing voices when reading, what’s your party piece when it comes to impressions?
I do a good upper middle class, teeth whistling accent. It sounds like Brian Sewell after a bottle of red wine. My monster voices (which I love doing) are a bit much for her sometimes. But I do think it’s important to scare your children as well as making them laugh. Understanding fear is important.

Sam reading

4. Favourite book from your childhood?
“Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr Seuss

5. What’s your children(s) favourite book now? 
Animus by Seonna Hong. It’s a visual circus with a sobering backdrop. Chilling and delightful. She loves it

6. Last book you read them?
I started reading an HP Lovecraft short story but she ended up running out the room.

7. Book that your children love but you secretly hate?
Anything with fairies in it. I don’t like fairies. I’ve never understood quite why.

So what do you think? Agree with Sam’s selections? What book do your children want to read over and over again?