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Before Erin was even born I had a small collection of books for her. Reading was something we did on a daily basis and we did it often. Now, Erin is 3 and reading is still such a big part of our day.
We generally try to stick to the same bedtime routine each evening and somehow this has meant that Erin doesn’t get out of bed in the night. Erin will start off by having a fun bath before watching something on TV like Zog or Room on the Broom. After Erin has had time to relax and calm down during this time she then goes up to bed (mostly with John) for a story session. Depending on how tired Erin is, they can sometimes get through 2-5 books and I’m sure Erin would like more some days.
It’s quite shocking to learn that the number of children reading for pleasure is dropping each year and that parents wish they could read more at bedtime with their children. I can’t imagine it not being a part of our routine and I can’t imagine Erin not enjoying story time. Reading, at any time of day, has so many great benefits for children such as encouraging creativity, language development, emotional development and encouraging an interest in new subjects.
There is someone who understands just how important reading at bedtime and that is Stuart Simmonds, author of the Hannah the Spanner series of books. Stuart made up stories for his own children, Hannah and Lucy, and promised that one day the stories he created would be real books… and now they are. The first two books in the seven part series (one for each day of the week), Hannah the Spanner and the Robot and Hannah the Spanner and the Dancing Bear are both available to buy now.
We were sent the first two Hannah the Spanner books and took them with us on a recent trip away to Ipswich. To us, it doesn’t matter whether we are in Erin’s bedroom, or a hotel room, we always try to keep the routine as normal as possible and this means taking books on holiday with us.
Immediately, the illustrations by Bill Greenhand stand out. Each page is bright, colourful and has lots for children to take in and discover. A lot of detail has been put on each page so there are smaller things to find here and there as well as seeing the main part of the story.
Having bright, colourful and entertaining characters helps to draw a child into a story and keep them interested. Erin had lots of fun pointing at the pages while John read the story to her. As you can see, the characters are fun, animated and a real joy to follow on each page.
The stories, although a little long for Erin at the moment, are so creative and fun. Each book has a really enjoyable story which is jam packed with excitement and mystery as well as fun situations throughout. Erin was really excited while reading both books and she couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. We do sometimes have to read them over 2 nights depending on how tired she is at the time.
It’s such a lovely idea that Stuart Simmonds made up these stories for his children and they’re now real books. Bedtime stories are such an important part of our day and that’s clearly something that Simmonds is a big believer in as well. Erin has such a great imagination and she loves to go to the library to find new books for bedtime. Although we encouraged reading at an early age, Erin now chooses to read and gets excited about reading before bed.
We have read these books so many times since we first got them and Erin now asks to read them. I know we’ll be getting the other books in the series as they’re released later this year.
Head to hannahthespanner.com to find out more about the books!