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!