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A Tale At Bedtime

To Encourage Your Children To Read

By Mike Singleton - MikeydredPublished 3 years ago Updated 2 years ago 3 min read

On Vocal we create stories, and I am sure my mum and dad would read me stories, but given that my mum had taught me to read before I was four, I found my bedtime stories in reading books. I have two daughters who have grown up to be independent and self confident. Again I read to them, but taught them to read and also had stories on cassette and CD for them, as well as music, to help them get to sleep.

Juliet and Kirsty

From very small I played them music , mostly Mozart to go to sleep with, given that Mozart was composing from the age of three , his music apparently is not affected by the trauma of growing up and adulthood so that helps children when they listen to his music.

Starting with simple stories that I could use to help them read, such as Red Riding Hood, Rumplestiltskin and the like , they soon picked up reading but still enjoyed me reading to them.

Then I introduced them to Roald Dahl which then became a staple because He was a bit edgy in his stories. Take Matilda for instance a little girl who was continually put down by her family and teachers but overcame all that through her own magic.

Books always enabled cliff-hangers , so there was always something to come back to the following night, and the little girl was the hero , which obviously struck a chord with my girls.

The Witches was another favourite about and young boy and his mother battling the evil witches in an English seaside town , although the book is darker than the film adaptation , and was inspired by Roald Dahl’s childhood holidays in Norway.

The thing is , because we taught our daughters’ to read before they hit primary school, they need more complex stories for bedtime reading, hence the Roald Dahl obsession. I had to work away so to help with that I got them some CDs of Roald Dahl stories for them to listen to before bed. This in some ways was a cop out but they always had a tale read to them before bed one way or another.

This prepared them to read the books themselves and I introduced them to Tolkien which was not as bedtime stories but as books to read themselves , so Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit were finished before secondary school much to the surprise of their teachers.

So it is good to start with traditional fairy tales , including the likes of The Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson , which also make great reading material, then progress through other short stories to full length books.

It is also good to to have stopping points in the story (like ends of chapters) which should make you kids want more and it is also a benefit if you like what you are reading as that should transfer over to your children in their enjoyment of the stories.

I also must say that children’s books have proliferated over the last thirty years giving lots of options for you to read a bedtime story and no doubt you can find something that is up your street as well as being enjoyable for your children.

Disney films have also animated several classic fairy tales so if your children have seen the film they will be familiar with the story., one of my mum’s favourite films was Disney’s “Fantasia” which assigned visual stories to classical pieces to educate people about how good classical music is so we shall lead with a little of the “Pastoral Symphony” by Beethoven to lead this piece.


About the Creator

Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

Weaver of Tales, Poems, Music & Love

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Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

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    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (2)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran2 years ago

    My mom bought me storybooks since I was 5 and I started reading Enid Blyton. Then since 10 years old, I discovered horror through R L Stine as have been obsessed with horror until now, lol!

  • Cathy holmes2 years ago

    This is great, Mike. Your daughters sound like highly intelligent young ladies. Good for you.

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