Archive for June, 2010

My Little Reader

Even before Reid was born and I saw that precious little face, I wanted desperately for him to share my love of books. My nightly ritual was to go in his room, sit in his rocking chair, and read out loud to him from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Soon after he was born, we started branching out, trying out all the books on our shelves. If he patted them or smiled (or tried to eat them, truth be told), they went into the “he likes these books” pile. If he wasn’t so interested, we put them in the “save for a few months and try again” pile.

It wasn’t long before he would sit in the floor with a book, turning the pages. And now, at 14 months old, books are second only to playing outside. Sometimes he comes with one book in hand and we read it . . . over . . . and over . . . and over. Other times, he brings one after another from his shelf and holds each one out with a big grin and points to his chest as if to say “Now this one, please.”

One of his favorites is Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb. We’ve read it so many times I don’t even need to look at the pages anymore. (Hand, hand, fingers, thumb, one thumb, one thumb drumming on a drum. One hand, two hands drumming on a drum. Dum ditty, dum ditty, dum dum dum.) You can tell how much he loves it because he holds one finger in the air and shakes it in time with the dum ditty, dum ditty, dum dum dums and dances in a circle. And then there’s his You’re My Little Love Bug book. My mom found it for him, and not only does it include a place for his picture on the last page, but it lights up and plays music when you open it up to read it. He likes to points to himself as you read You’re my lovey dovey, my stinker winker bear.

My hope is that books will always hold such interest for him and that in a few years we’ll move to chapter books and then in a few more years I’ll start sharing young adult novels from some authors I know personally. But whether he likes Mommy’s books best or really prefers nonfiction like Daddy does, Reid confirms for me that reading is not a declining pastime and that printed books themselves are not dead. There will always be a place for great stories and for great storytellers. Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb, after all, was first published in 1969.

*What books stand the test of time for you?

*What gives those books their longevity and appeal? What can we as a publishing team learn from them? 




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