Guest Post: Some Gripes About Being a Parent and Reading to Your Children

Thinking back ten years ago, my life was quite a bit different to what it is today. In those days I didn’t have toys scattered on a coffee table or trainers spread about the floor. I didn’t have to negotiate bed times. I didn’t need to worry if my child was going to have a good day at school. Now things are different…I am a parent.

One of the positives of parenthood is reading a child a story; I tend to put on funny voices. My son is particular. He is bilingual, he can switch from one language to another. His English vocabulary is extensive, which is incredible because we live in France. I started reading to him before he could speak.

Yes I have had to read Postman Pat, Peppa Pig,Thomas the Tank Engine, the Mr and Mrs books, the usual stuff you are forced to read to children. He had a Harry Potter phase, but that seems to have been and gone and now he is into Percy Jackson books, which I found also very pleasing. He likes the English comedian David Walliams books, which seem to incorporate the same humour as Roald Dahl with uncanny similar illustrations. Walliams seems to have found a niche with his stories in which children burp and fart and do all manner of things a parent hopes their own children will desist from doing. For me some of his stories are old fashioned and quaint, throwing snowballs at teachers and other pupils, gangsta grannies, that kind of thing. But his formula seems to work.

My son has also been hooked on Manga books and it’s a hard battle to wean him off books done in a comic style with pictures and less descriptive words. “Read a proper book!” is often the cry in our house. When he reads a “proper” book he can get into it. But something in his mind seems to resist reading fat books, without pictures.

I have read to him my own stories. It is a great pleasure to do this. My first published children’s book was inspired by one of my son’s drawings. It was done during the pandemic, a few years ago. It was of a king who seemed to be walking while holding the hand of two ghosts. He looked like a fish, so I came up with the title “The Fish King and the Two Wise Ghosts.”


Do you have children?

What have you read to them?

Have you enjoyed reading a children’s book recently?

What makes a good children’s book?

Put any answers in the comments.  

About the Author

Born in 1961, in Reading, England Francis H Powell attended Art Schools, receiving a degree in painting and an MA in printmaking. In 1995, Powell moved to Austria, teaching English as a foreign language while pursuing his varied artistic interests adding music and writing. He currently lives in Brittany, France writing both prose and poetry. Powell has published short stories in the magazine, “Rat Mort” and other works on the internet site “Multi-dimensions.” His two published books are Flight of Destiny and Adventures of Death, Reincarnation and Annihilation

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