After reading aloud to my children virtually every night for over a decade — my daughter just turned 12, and my sons are 9 and 4 — I have, of course, many book recommendations, but I also have some strategic suggestions. The first is, if you can’t picture yourself reading a particular book nightly for, oh, two straight months, don’t even bring it into the house. Small children have a huge appetite for repetition, and you never know what will catch their interest. So be wary. I recently brought home “Hello Kitty Goes to Camp,” which comes with postcards to send home, thinking it would be an opportunity for “ironic” bonding with my frighteningly culturally sophisticated preteenage daughter. She didn’t bite. Then the 4-year-old found it and, fascinated by his sister’s two recent sleepaway camp disappearances, has demanded to hear it for many, many nights now.
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