Book Talk with Indian Mom Preeti Athri
We’re constantly in touch with super-parents who love children’s literature as much as we do. That’s why we’ve decided to feature a parent each month in our new blog series called ‘Book Talk With.’ Here we will delve deeper into what parents and their kids love about reading. Let’s take a look!
Preeti Athri was an obvious choice for this blog series as she is not only an amazing mom but also a freelance editor and writer. Plus, in her own words, Preeti feels ‘she’s the reincarnation of the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland.’ Anyone who uses storybook characters to describe themselves is a winner in our book!
She is vivacious, loves watching cooking videos, a big Sherlock Holmes fan and absolutely hates rats. We feel you Preeti! Like many parents out there Preeti isn’t growing up but rather growing down with her kids through children’s books. That’s why she’s our first candidate and we couldn’t wait to get to know more about her literary tastes.
Team Get Litt: Share with us a few of your favourite children’s books.
Preeti Athri: Aargh! Choosing a few is not easy because there are so many favourites. But there are few which have been read and re-read by my kids and me too many times to count. They are:
- Supertato by Sue Hendra
- Tiddler by Julia Donaldson
- Junior Kumbhkarna by Arundhati Venkatesh
- Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton
- The Wolves in the Wall by Neil Gaiman
- The bike lesson by Stan and Jan Berenstain
- Horrible Science Series by Nick Arnold and Tony Dear Saulles
TGL: What is the best bedtime story that actually works and gets your kids nice and sleepy?
PA: Our favourite bedtime story is the Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle. It takes you through the sights and sounds of the night so beautifully. To get the listeners sleepy you have to read it in a sleepy voice so that they calm down, imagine the night, and slip into slumberland.
TGL: What are your kid’s favourite books?
PA: My elder son Kavin loves Calvin and Hobbes, the Horrible Science Series and any book with fun facts. My younger son Naitik loves the Magic Rolling Pin by Vikas Khanna and Julia Donaldson classics.
TGL: What tips/advice do you have for parents who want to get their kids more involved in reading?
PA: When parents read often, kids tend to follow. I feel reading to kids more often than asking them to read by themselves also encourages them to eventually read more.
Preeti reading to her two boys Naitik and Kavin – “Math in a story… interesting!”
TGL: What is a quirky reading habit you have (either when you’re reading with your child or by yourself)?
PA: I sometimes try to read the book in an alien language just to see how it sounds. We try reading sentences backwards as well, with hilarious results.
TGL: Do you have a tip to help engage kids with reading?
PA: I feel children are naturally drawn to books because they’re so magical. But I’ve noticed that if you narrate a story a bit dramatically and introduce suspense, kids get hooked and want more, eventually, they want to read.
TGL: Which is your favourite reading spot/somewhere you get the most reading done?
PA: Anywhere and everywhere! But my favourite reading spot is on the pot. (Hehe)
4-year-old Naitik “My mummy has read this book more than me.”
6.5-year-old Kavin “Let’s write some gross facts from this ‘horrible’ book!”
TGL: Do you have a favourite memory associated with a book?
PA: Yes! When I was eleven, my mom brought me a book titled Midnight Blue by Pauline Fisk from a library. It is about a troubled girl who escapes to a parallel universe. I still feel I’m trapped in a parallel universe sometimes.
That feeling of a parallel universe or being transported into a book is what makes us fall in love with books everytime we read. Thank you Preeti for all your fun tips and insights into children and reading – we’re going to give that alien language a try the next time we start a book.
If you’d like to be featured or have a ton of fresh ideas that you use to get your child engaged in reading – drop us a line in the comments below. We love hearing back from parents who are as enthusiastic about children’s books as we are.