Year of the Dad: Sebastien Braun on Sharing Stories
As far as I remember, it was my Mum who read books to me when I was a child. I can still remember her falling asleep one evening while reading. Comfortably seated, like a little bird, I nestled at her side, hungry for the tasty words and pictures she fed to me.
My diet was varied, but when I was five, I loved Busy Busy World by Richard Scarry (pictured below). My memories of my Mum reading to me fade around the age of seven or eight. I then made my way through a plethora of other stories, but always felt a special relationship to children's picture books.
Years passed and it wasn't until my early thirties that I realised one of my early ambitions: to become a children's book illustrator. This coincided with me becoming a father. It was so well timed, in fact, that the day my son was born, I received my first ever published picture book. I remember walking back from the post office with it along the local market street, my eyes welling up with tears of emotion.
A couple of years later, my second child arrived, and bedtime stories became part of our evening ritual. Each boy had his favourites, and of course there were often many more than two stories per night.
It was now my turn to feed words and images to my little chicks. I remember sometimes slowly drifting to sleep while reading to them, creating unusual stories as I dazedly skipped over the words of our nighttime tales!
One of my joys was to pop into the local library and borrow a pile of colourful books to read. I am thankful for the opportunity given by libraries to share stories; to create these special moments.
My boys have grown and now read on their own, sometimes sharing their good reads with me. For a treat, every now and then, I read aloud to them and it still feels special.
It was my Mum who introduced me to books, and I am grateful to her. I sometimes wish I could also remember my Dad reading to me, but I am proud to have spent lots of time discovering stories with my boys.
Find out more about Sebastien Braun's wonderful books at sebastienbraun.com.
Main Image is from On Our Way Home by Sebastien Braun (published by Boxer Books)