Reading is essential to Ziggy Marley for more reasons than one. The musician tells The Wall Street Journal that story time is a way for him to educate and connect with his kids.
“I’m a big reader,” says Ziggy. “My kids love reading and I think it’s important not just for development, but for bonding. You start reading to kids before they can even understand what you’re saying to them, so I look at it as a fundamental tool for connection. And I still like the old fashioned stuff. Turning the pages with your children before bed every night is a special thing.”
Marley remembers a time in history when stories were oral, telling media that his grandmother use to recite tales from memory. “Before there were books, there was storytelling,” explains the star. “When I was growing up, we had blackouts in Jamaica where every night, during certain hours, we’d have no power. My Grandma would round all of us together and tell us stories. I’ve never forgotten that. Even now in my house we try to keep the TV off during the week. That little bit of disconnection gives us room to read and talk to each other.”
It was just last year that Ziggy released his first children’s book and named it I Love You Too. Although the name of the book appears to be simple, Ziggy says it was derived from his love for the family. “It came from my family,” shares the artist. “When my daughter Judah was two or three years old, I went into the kitchen and she said, ‘I love you.’ It was totally spontaneous. We weren’t having a conversation, I hadn’t said anything to provoke it, she just came out of the blue and said, ‘I love you.’ So I said, ‘oh, I love you, too.’ It was one of those moments you have as a parent that comes out of nowhere but means everything.”
Ziggy Marley has six kids. You can find I Love You Too at most bookstores.