Seven Years Old and a Book Update
We have just celebrated PudStar’s seventh birthday with a bollywood party with friends and a family dinner – and we are now living in what can only be described as Shopkins hell. Anyone else got a child obsessed with Shopkins at the moment? Squinkies are sooooo last year, it’s now all about Shopkins – which are teeny tiny plastic pantry, fridge and bakery items in plastic packaging that makes my heart break. I know. Seriously. Who comes up with these ideas?
Until recently (when Shopkins arrived on the scene and she was apparently THE ONLY GIRL AT SCHOOL WHO DOESN’T HAVE SHOPKINS), PudStar wasn’t at all into toys. She’s not really been a doll child, a Lego child, or even a blocks child. She’s been an art journal child, a cubbyhouse child and a fairy garden child. Oh and a TV child, becuase #realitycheck before you think me some sort of uber mother. But with the discovery of Shopkins and playground influence came the desire to own teeny tiny cans of plastic baked beans and plastic tubes of toothpaste. As one is only seven once, and will soon discover that teeny tiny plastic cans of baked beans are not that fabulous – we’ve rolled with this. That and the fact that she looked at me very earnestly some weeks ago and asked, ‘will there be annnnny presents on my birthday that are not books mummy?’…sheesh. Some children don’t have annnnny books at all I told her – sounding so much like the mothers who say ‘some children don’t have annnnny food, so eat your dinner’.
Of course she did indeed still get books – a new Frida one suggested by Eden (see here for more on Frida Kahlo books), ‘Enchanted Forest’ from the Belgians (which I’d been going to buy her) and the two new Clementine Rose titles, because clearly we need the entire series.
Some parents want to remember when their child first started soccer or played in their first piano recital – I want to remember the books my children adored each year. So at seven years old, the books below are what Pud is loving in the reading department.
We still read books to her every.single.night…but now it’s also fabulous to see her crawl under the covers after dark and devour Clementine Rose. Bedtime books is sometimes the only time in a day when either Dan or I is able to spend quiet, uninterrupted, close time with the girls and it’s often when Pud will tell us about what has happened in her day, as opposed to the grunt, scream, scowl or sigh and eye roll I get in the afternoons upon asking how her day was (how DARE I). Bedtime books will be happening in this house for many years to come.
In my post on her sixth birthday, I talked about her strong will and feisty nature. She is still strong willed (one can only hope this will serve her well in her teen years) but she is now so much more aware of her peers and the way friendships and the playground work, so she is (sadly) less inclined to walk her own path; with her Frida flowers in her hair and her art/nature journal in her hand. The desire to fit in is strong and inevitable and I suppose it is in some-ways necessary in order that we all learn to live in a harmonious community – but I’m hopeful Pud is always going to remain true to what she knows and loves…and is never afraid to walk her own path in life.
Fine literature can help us to walk in the shoes of others and develop empathy and understanding at a global level, and it can also be instrumental in helping us to to explore, discover and clarify our own personal thoughts and sense of self. We plan to give Pud a wide and varied diet of beautiful words and stories that help her to navigate her way through the world and make her think and wonder and question – always question.
Happy birthday Pud – may you always find books which you love and which inspire, challenge and comfort you. And may you move on from Shopkins sooner rather than later…cause no one should love teeny tiny plastic cans of baked beans for too long.
Favourite Books at Seven Years Old
EJ Spy School series
The Cleo Stories (full review here)
Bath Monster (out of print)