I decided to do something a little different this month for book of the month. I usually support smaller authors as by doing this monthly feature I have discovered some absolutely amazing writers. This month I was a little late in approaching authors and didn’t give them enough time to send a blog (it’s been a busy few months!). So I had a think about what books I could cover and remembered a news article about JK Rowling’s book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Then I remembered a few other popular reads from preemie parents in the NICU.

There are so many authors I could focus on I really had to think hard about what to whittle the top 3 down to. So even though authors like Enid Blyton, Jeff Kinney and Dawn McMillan aren’t on this list I think these three authors have something for everyone!

Lisa sat reading. Photography credit: Vivienne Guy
Lisa sat reading. Photography credit: Vivienne Guy

JK Rowling

This may be an obvious choice. Rowling’s Harry Potter series has been increasingly popular with preemie parents after this article was written. The father of a preemie baby girl read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to her. The title of the first chapter in the book is called ‘The boy who lived’. This will speak strongly to many parents with a premature baby.

JK Rowling is also known for her generosity. She lost her Forbes billionaire status after giving huge amounts of her fortunes away to charity. She was quoted as saying “You’ve a moral responsibility when you’ve been given more than you need, to do wise things with it and give intelligently”. What an incredible lady!

Roald Dahl

Mr Dahl’s books are certainly standing the test of time. His stories are still loved around the world today with over 250 million Roald Dahl books being sold worldwide. Roald Dahl suffered a lot of loss and experienced a lot of tragedy in his lifetime, the fact that he created such wonderful and magical stories that capture children’s wild and vivid imaginations is amazing. His books include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, The Fantastic Mr Fox, The Twits, The BFG. These are just a few of my favourites, the list goes on!

Lisa holding open a book. Photography credit: Vivienne Guy
Lisa holding open a book. Photography credit: Vivienne Guy

David Walliams

I have to admit I haven’t read as many David Walliams books as I have the other two authors but the ones I have read I have loved. On Britain’s Got Talent David comes across as a big kid at heart and this comes out in his books. There’s always an underdog who amazes and inspires the readers with their adventure throughout the book. David has been compared to as a modern day Roald Dahl and I can see why. Their huge imaginations magically transport you into a different world that keeps you turning the pages to find out more.

David being a comedian also has to add an element of comedy into his stories. This may appeal to preemie parents given the situation they are in.

Reading to preemies

Reading is important to children at any age. Studies show that reading to a premature baby can help with their mental development and communication skills when they are older. Reading was also shown to reduce premature baby’s heart rates and improve their oxygen saturation levels. This is believed to be connected to hearing the familiarity of their parents’ voices.

I’m not one to need an excuse to read, I have been a bookworm from a very young age. So naturally I didn’t need an excuse to read to my little boy and would read at least once a day to him. To start with I felt a little self-conscious but I soon got into the rhythm of it and realised that none of the other parents were particularly paying attention as they were busy concentrating on their own little ones.