After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” – Philip Pullman
The author of The Golden Compass has a good point.
Parents know to provide the basics for their children: keep them fed, keep them protected, keep them company and all should be well. Kids beg for one more thing: our attention. One of the most gratifying ways I met that need with my children was through sharing a story.
Storytellers can take many forms. In many cultures, children learned life lessons and the natural world was uncovered through the oral folktale tradition. Families share boasts about ‘back in the day’ to instill values.
When my kids were very young I read to them constantly. Hours of repetition began with Goodnight Moon, then Richard Scarry, and Curious George. I remember reading a children’s version of The Nutcracker Ballet for twelve months straight because my daughter insisted and I gave in.