I have a real love/hate relationship with "twaddle". If you don't know what I am referring to, it basically means junk food books. Books that go nowhere. Books with ridiculous computer generated illustrations. They most often have LICENSED characters or subject matter. They are annoying to read aloud.
I try and make sure the books that come home from the library for my children are quality and not a lot of twaddle. Because my children are really young and most books we borrow are read aloud it is important that we don't get books that are a waste of time. It is also important that I don't crush my kid's confidence and spirit by not letting any of their twaddle selections make it into the house. I do weed out certain books before we check out from the library, but the kids have always been ok with this (who knows how long this will last). I also don't volunteer to read these certain books aloud, and the kids are happy to look at them during their quiet time, etc.
There was recently a time where I was very very anti-twaddle and checking them out from the library was stressing me out. But then I listened to the Q&A Read Aloud Revival Podcast where Sarah spoke about twaddle. She had a point when she said that it can be useful to the children for speed and accuracy when they become readers. I agree with this! Then I started thinking more about twaddle....
I was raised on twaddle.
I had exactly ONE beautiful nursery rhyme book. The limited amount of picture books I owned were all twaddle. I still have those books. Those books were my prized possessions. Hard earned money went into purchasing those books. My mother read one of those books to me every single night. There was no internet to give her recommendations, there was no example of readers in her life, and the library was 30 minutes away. She did the best with what she had, and with what she knew at the time. I didn't grow up to be a horrible reader or a terrible student. I loved books (and I think that started with being read aloud to!), and once I was in grade school I was let loose in the library for hours. Hours. Nothing I read was screened (yikes! some subject matter...I wish someone would have stopped that) which resulted in an interesting mix of books in my history. The librarians showed me where the Caldecott and other award winners were kept one day and I was so amazed.
But my point is, I am no longer going to stress out
over twaddle. Of course I would prefer the bulk of our reading to be wonderful, beautiful stories, and it will be, I am making up for lost time here! But I won't upset myself over a couple of junk books. Because as long as my children love words on a page, I will be joyful.