Ask Tamara: What books do you read to your kids?

Ask Tamara

Question: What books do you read to your kids?

Answer: Having children with disabilities makes everything challenging. Something a simple as reading a book to them at bed-time can end up in a downright brawl if we are not careful.

As a compromise I have found that books-on-tape are a great investment. If you get GOOD books (that are narrated by skilled/talented narrators!) you end up with between 8 and (sometimes as much as) 24 hours of entertainment for your kiddos. That said, some books-on-tape suck. A poorly narrated book can generate a really bad experience for the kids too!

With severe ADHD (Charlie – age 9) it is often very difficult to get the kids to look at pages of a book long enough for them to experience a story, but listening to it (as they drift off to sleep, or while they stare out the window on a road-trip) actually works really well (and, at bedtime, leaves mama’s hands free for a back-rub to keep kids calm and focused during the story!)

I have also seen studies that show that even listening to books (vs. children reading the books themselves) helps to develop reading skills, which is really important given Avi (age 13) has a brain injury from being lead poisoned and cannot read anywhere near grade level (or at a level of fluency that would make it possible for him to read age-appropriate books.)

A Wrinkle In Time Audio Book Tamara Rubin Lead Safe MamaSo far the books-on-tape that our children have liked (mostly because they have incredible narrators) are:

We also have a policy in our home: if the kids want to see a movie they HAVE to read the book first (OR listen to the book-on-tape.) This also creates an opening for fun (and sometimes fairly intellectually stimulating) conversations about the differences between the book the movie and reasons that certain things in the book may have been left out of the movie, as well as why things are added to movies when they may not be in the book.

And  the only book-on-tape that we got that they hate (so far), because it is so poorly narrated (and you are really present to the narrator’s breathing!) is:

  • The Hobbit (This was a huge disappointment because the kids were really looking forward to it! I hope a better narrator redoes it sometimes soon!)

If you have any good suggestions for books-on-tape that your children have enjoyed, please let me know! We would love to try out some new ones!

As always, please let me know if you have any questions!

Tamara Rubin

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