Being unproductive and loving it

As parents or carers, we are often told that one of our roles is  to stimulate our children by for instance filling up their days with activities from music classes to swimming lessons. Even medical professionals advise parents to read to their babies now!

I don’t intend this blog to become a parenting forum where one could debate and criticise the attitudes of so called tiger mums or idle parents. Caricatures may be fun to read about, but I don’t think they help to find your own way of parenting your kids.

I believe however that we could all gain from being reminded sometimes that it is not only pleasant but also formative to slow down and to do absolutely nothing.

The adventures of the mole sisters, a series of books by the author and illustrator Roslyn Schwartz, are just perfect to remind you that sometimes we should all take it easy and enjoy the little moments we spend together. L., my oldest was a big fan of the simple stories and gorgeous illustrations, and she would often marvel at the details and colours of the wavy wheat or the dandelions. Now her brother (who’s just turned four) has recently taken to the mole sisters too, but he seems to be more interested in acting up the stories and repeating the sisters’ advice or dialogue such as: ‘Sometimes it’s important to do nothing!’

Each of their stories can be read separately, some are rather comical, other almost philosophical. At home we have The mole sisters and the wavy wheat and another volume gathering all of their adventures with ten different stories, a must for serial readers! For early readers and preschoolers, these are perfect, short and sweet, funny and light.

They have been translated and animated (although I cannot tell you first hand whether the cartoon version is any good) and like many classics, they have made their mark on children. If you don’t believe me, go and see the photos of this incredible cake with the mole sisters and the wavy wheat made by a fifteen year old for her sister’s birthday!

Because we love moles, bees and bugs at least in our books, expect a few other posts on these creatures soon…and feel free to comment and add your own reading suggestions as we are about to embark on our yearly summer reading challenge at the local library.



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