We love getting a batch of new books from the library every few weeks. As soon as Pen Elaine wakes up in the morning and makes it to mommy & daddy’s bed, she requests “milk” and “book.” She chooses from the books in our room, and lately she always includes a Cat the Cat book by Mo Willems. If, somehow, Mommy or Daddy chose the books and no cat book was included, she has also been known to “meow” in request for a Cat the Cat book. This is her current favorite, and it’s hilarious, like all of Mo Willems’ books that I’ve read so far. This one gives us an excuse to make all of our animal sounds, pretend sleep sounds, talk about various bedtime routines, and share in jokes together.
Reading together allows time to snuggle; it is a predictable activity that Pen Elaine can count on for spending time with mommy & daddy and knowing how to react to a situation, and so it builds her world of safety and trust that allows her to spend her energies on learning and growing (Here is a site with more technical attachment articles). When helping a young child to focus on the same thing for a more prolonged period, this is sometimes called maintaining their attention, which helps build their attention span and decrease the chance for developing some sort of attention disorder or difficulty (ref e.g. Bono & Stifter, 2003).