Each and every birthday, Christmas or ‘just because’ day, I always buy Mini B a book.
No matter how nomadic his weekend routine becomes when he’s home with us (poor dude has it sorted all week at nursery then we turn it upside down of a weekend), how bad a mood he or we are in or how late we’ve bribed him up those stairs to bed - there's always time for a story before we turn out the lights and cross our fingers he won't see us again until morning.
When I see how excited he gets as we gather up his bundle of books or spy him sitting on the floor with a serious expression on his face whilst he ‘reads’ a book upside down, I allow myself a quiet parenting “huzzah!” pat on the back for sharing my favourite pastime with my little guy and seeing his love for books grow and grow.
That said, I won’t pretend that I don’t make a beeline for the most eye-catching books when Mini B demands we “reeed-it” – it’s far more fun reading a book that you genuinely enjoy yourself then feign interest in a book where you find yourself nodding off halfway through and wondering if you remembered to order potatoes in the weekly shop.
Jenny Thomas is a local mum on my South London patch whom I pounced upon when she first posted a link to her new venture on our shared 'Mum advice' Facebook forum. She recently launched Smallprint, an independent book and print shop, from her kitchen table after taking the leap to turn her passion into a career after her two children were born (aged 4 and 1).
The ethos of Smallprint is evident from the striking books on sale – wonderfully unique and inspiring reads with beautiful imagery to capture the attention of children and adults alike. Colour is key – no drab, lifeless tomes but a sense of humour and happiness characterises Smallprint from the pop-up books to the captivating illustrations.
We were given a copy of Alphabook when Mini B was a baby and Mr B and I took to it straight away because the design went beyond any of the more ‘traditional’ books we’d come across – at first we just enjoyed showing him the fun pictures but now it’s doubling as a learning tool for his ABCs.
Jenny’s thought wisely about her stock and there’s a broad appeal - simple picture books for babies, right up to full fairy tales for pre-schoolers.
Gifting a book is truly timeless, the effect a superb book can have is everlasting and that’s why it’s so important to keep paying it forward and spreading the reading love – hop on over to Smallprint and jump on the book fanatics' bandwagon.