Celebrate Children’s Book Week

CBW_Poster-smallThe 95th celebration of Children’s Book Week begins May 12, 2014. Children’s Book Week is designed to foster the love of reading in children. It is the longest-running literary initiative in the United States, and is administered by Every Child A Reader, a 501(c)(3) literacy organization.

I’ve written before about how important reading was in my family when I was a child. I remembered that importance again with a recent story my father told me.

My father had a meeting with a man who is a college fundraiser. The man is a young father, and was interested in my father’s description of what my siblings and I are doing.

“How did you manage to raise four highly educated kids?” the man asked. “It must have been more than luck.”

My father thought awhile. “I think it’s because we read to them when they were growing up,” he told the man.

And later he sent the young man a copy of Winnie the Pooh to read to his children.

mMugZTSQ4XYjmDRF06mOI1g PoohNow I have to admit that I did not appreciate Winnie the Pooh as a child. I thought the woozles and wizzles were stupid—even as a five-year-old, I knew that the footprints in the snow were just Pooh and Piglet walking around the gorse bush. I did not see why my parents thought the stories were so funny. It took adulthood for me to come to see the humor.

But my parents did read to me almost every day when I was a preschooler. I learned to read by following along.

I learned to read before I thought I was supposed to—I thought only grown-ups were supposed to read. I had to be sure to put the page back where Mommy left it when she got called away in the middle of a story, so she wouldn’t know I’d been reading ahead. Then I was bored until she caught up with me.

Later I read to my little brother and sister, and later still my husband and I read to our children.

And, as my father told his acquaintance, we all valued reading and education as a result.

So take the opportunity of Children’s Book Week to buy a child a book or take a child to the library. You—and they—will be glad you did.

What has reading meant in your life?

Posted in Family, Philosophy and tagged , , , , , , , , .


  1. A lot of children’s literature is for adults (like Pooh).
    I never appreciated reading fantasy until I was an adult, although obviously a lot of kids do.

    • Luanne,
      I’m still not much into fantasy, though I’ve read some. But any well-written book with strong characters is worth giving a chance.
      Thanks for the comment,

  2. Theresa, I loved your blog this week. I sent it to the parents of our seven great grands. One of their grandmothers is a spectaular grade school librarian. I’m sure she reads and gives lots of books to her own four grands, but hope she will share suggestions with all parents. Maybe a blog is in her future.

  3. Reading was a big part of my childhood. We owned a set of the encylopedia Britannica. I spent many hours flipping through the pages and reading whatever I could. We also lived about five blocks from a public library, this was really useful in filling our time especially during the summer months. Neither of my parents had time to devote to sitting and reading with my brothers and sisters. For me it was fun so I didn’t need the extra push to do it. My wife and I have read to all three daughters and the library has been and continues to be a part of our weekends.

  4. Theresa, one of my favorite things to do with my son is read to him. I wanted to instill in him the same love of reading that I have and at the age of 1 I started to read to him the Helen Oxenbury Nursery Collection. Although at the time it was way above his head I think the rhyming part in the book boasted his verbal skills. Henry spoke earlier than most children and today at the age of 4 he has a pretty extensive vocabulary and to boot loves playing “librarian”. Thank you for a wonderful post that is near and dear to my heart.

    • Nareen,
      How wonderful that you read to your son! I’m sure that has helped his vocabulary, and will help his reading skills as well,
      Thanks for reading,

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