Date: 22 January 2002
Originally published in: Hello! (UK)
Children love bedtime stories. The ritual of the bedtime read is one of the most reassuring of routines – it’s one-on-one time to snuggle up with Mum or Dad in a world of warmth, safety and wonder. A passion for reading may be the greatest gift a parent can give their child: it stretches the imagination, bestows knowledge and, of course, provides simple enjoyment. Research has shown that children who read with their parents for just 20 minutes three times a week can boost their reading age by almost a year.
Sadly, not every child experiences this happy legacy. In fact, each week in the UK over 600 children will be added to the national child protection register and at least one child will die as a result of cruelty – which is why Hello! has teamed up with the NSPCC’s FULL STOP campaign and, over the following pages, celebrity mums talk about the joy of bedtime reading.
‘Reading’s a wonderful way for kids to find out who they are’
Garden designer and former pop star, 40, with Harry, four, and Rose, 21 months
“I was brought up to love books – and I think Harry and Rose already understand they’re incredibly liberating, inspirational and a great source of knowledge. Reading’s a wonderful way for kids to find out who they are in the world – the characters they identify with, the kind of stories they like – which helps them get an early sens of their own identity. I find reading with the kids good fun, too. Even telling the same story over and over again, I have my own private jokes about certain lines. I get fully into it and turn into a great thespian. Harry looks at me as if I’m mad, but it does it for me.”
Kim’s choice: The Emperor’s New Clothes