Reading is Fundamental

My 1-year old son, X, has a board book that he loves and I’m beginning to hate. It’s called 123s by Sia Aryai. Here is the entire text:

123s sia aryai1 – One Slide
2 – Two Wagons
3 – Three Buckets
4 – Four Carriages
5 – Five Dolls
6 – Six Blocks
7 – Seven Hats
8 – Eight Kinds of Fruit
9 – Nine Balls
10 – Ten Teddy Bears

Each page has a picture of a toddler playing with the various objects. X simply cannot get enough of this book. He wants me to read it over and over and over. He even chases me around the house if I try to flee when I see him retrieve the book. He even finds it when I attempt to hide it.

I shouldn’t be surprised that he adores this book. Both of his siblings did. After seven years of constant reading, the poor book is in a sad state. The spine is broken, the edges are frayed, and the pages display various things we have eaten or drank over the years.

I’m happy that my children love reading. When I ask my daughter, Nee, “What do you want to do with Daddy that’s fun?” Her response is always, “Go to Barnes & Noble!” She is a strong reader and has developed into a really good writer.

My son, N, is currently enrolled in Head Start to Reading, a class that teaches Pre-K children how to read using sight words. After each session, he can’t wait for me to return from work. “Daddy, Daddy!,” he screams. “I can read another sentence.” Since he likes superheroes, I ply him with comic books to stoke his passion for reading.

Every night before bed, the kids and I gather in N’s bedroom and transport ourselves to the streets of Paris in the pages of The Invention of Hugo Cabret. This 526-page book is told in both words and pictures. The Invention of Hugo Cabret is not exactly a novel, and it’s not quite a picture book, and it’s not really a graphic novel, or a flip book, or a movie, but a combination of all these things. Each picture (there are nearly three hundred pages of pictures!) takes up an entire double page spread, and the story moves forward because you turn the pages to see the next moment unfold in front of you.

In this age of Wii, Xbox, and PlayStation, I’m happy that my children would rather read a book than play a video game. Now, if I could just find another book that X likes, I’ll be a happy man. Looks like it’s time for a trip to Barnes & Noble.

Stay Strong,

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Question: Do your kids have a book that they cannot get enough of?

About author

Frederick J. Goodall

Frederick J. Goodall is the founder of Mocha Dad - a parenting website focused on fatherhood. He is passionate about parenting and helping men to be great dads, husbands, and role models. You can contact him at or on Twitter at