It’s like falling in love all over again through the eyes of a child who has a boundless amount of imagination.
I remember when I was just a young fineapple when I first went to the library. I was about 4-years-old and I was so excited. At the time, the library was like a mysterious wonderland full of secrets of the world and it was my duty to discover it. I remember selecting four books and taking them home. I read those books everywhere; the car, the living room, the bathroom and even the closet. Books were like my best friends. But looking back now, what really made me excited was how my family paid attention to what I was reading. By that, I mean they didn’t just select books they thought were appropriate for my age but they selected books they felt I would enjoy.
I recall getting my report card from kindergarten and it was the end of the school year. My father had to go pick it up from school and I stayed home. I was nervous because I had a little bit of trouble at the beginning of the school year (mostly because the work presented to me was boring) but I really found my stride when we started reading in the circle for our circle hour. I enjoyed the stories so much, my teacher allowed me to keep the book at my desk and to take it home sometimes. I can’t recall all the stories but I know I loved the book a lot. Anyway, my father had returned from picking up my final report card and also had a bag with him. I looked at him kinda scared because even though I felt I tried my best, I didn’t want him to be disappointed in me. To be honest, I don’t even remember my grades, but I do recall him saying that my teacher told him I was a great reader—the best in the class, even. To celebrate that compliment, my father gifted me with several different books and it made my heart swell.
My father encouraged my reading throughout my childhood. During the summers he ordered me Weekly Reader which eventually led me to R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books. All of these experiences with books and my parents made me feel like they not only encouraged my reading habits but they were attentive enough to pick up on what my interests were which poured over into my taste of fashion, music and personality. Now that I have a child, I am hoping for the same chemistry that my parents had with me.
I introduced my daughter to her first book when she was about 6-months-old. Sure, she couldn’t read it or understand it but I let her feel the book and I would point out the pictures. I would also make it dramatic and animated in an effort to help build-up her anticipation for storytelling. I would read to her a few minutes a day and not everything I read was a children’s book. Some were comics and regular magazines, however, I made sure to read aloud so she can here and follow me. She mainly laughed at me and tried to eat the books but I still continued.
Fast forward six months or so later and she’s finally walking. I was still reading to her but I noticed she liked bright colors and took more interest in animal characters and characters that looked like her. So I started getting more books just for her. But then she started showing signs that she was understanding what was being read to her shortly after Christmas.
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