Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Give A Child A Book This Week

Knowonder! kids magazine had this poster on their facebook page today, so I am sharing it with you to let you know that May 13-19 is National Children's Book Week. More than once on this blog, I've written about the importance of exposing small children to books.

Read to them even when they are infants, on into the toddler years, then preschool. Once they learn to read on their own, let them read to you and occasionally, you should also read to them. One of the ways our family  passed the time on long road trips when my children were young was that I read a book to them, chapter by chapter, as their dad drove up one highway and down another. They'd often lean their arms on the top of the front seats listening as the story unfolded.

One book I vividly remember reading on a vacation trip was Caddie Woodlawn, which had been a favorite of mine. It's a great story, but when we got to the final chapter, it had me so choked up I could barely get the words out and had to wipe the tears away. And I was not the only one in that car who had the same reaction.

I've read to my children and my grandchildren, and they all loved books when they were quite small. A book can take us places we'd never see on our own. A children's book contains a special kind of magic all its own. Years ago, when I taught third and fourth grades, I read a chapter a day to the class until we finished a book, then off we'd go on another. I chose the time immediately after lunch to get them settled down and ready to get on with classwork.

The authors of early childhood books must tell a full story in a few short pages. Believe me--it's not an easy task. It's far easier to write copious amounts of words that run into a full novel than it is to keep a story contained in only a few hundred carefully chosen words.

Libraries. schools and bookstores all over the USA will sponsor special events this week to promote Children's Book Week. Watch for them and share with the children you know.

You might purchase a children's book someday this week and give it to a child you know, or perhaps even one you don't know. Whether the child is very young, in the middle grades, junior high school, or even high school, they would probably be thrilled to receive a book that was selected just for them. Buy a classic tale or one that is brand new to you. You can spread the love of books like Johnny Appleseed scattered the seeds which grew into strong apple trees.

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