The importance of reading to your kids

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Photo by Picsea on Unsplash

One of my earliest memories is being read to as a child. We had a large book with a red cover, filled with folk tales and stories, some may have been Aesop’s fables, and some poems. I can’t for the life of me remember the book’s title.

I remember my Mom reading to the stories to me, trying to follow along. I got caught up in the tale of the fox who stole a hen and other farm animals, and was carrying them off to his den in a large sack. The fox stopped to rest and the hen poked a hole in the sack. She told each of the other animals to run off and bring back a stone the same size they were. Each animal did so and they filled the sack with the stones, the hen being the last one. Then they all scurried away. When the fox woke up he picked up the sack, and as he tried crossing over a stream, he lost his balance, fell in and drowned.

(Kinda gruesome for a kid’s story, now that I look at in retrospect.)

I also remember sitting in my room, looking at all the pictures in the book and trying to recall the stories, wondering how you had a page and there was a story there.

Even later, I remember my Mom reading one of the first chapter books I ever encountered, Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson. I remember the story starting off β€œNew folks coming!” and going on from there, with a new family moving into the big house that no one had lived in for a long time.

It was because my Mom read to me as a kid that I developed a love of reading, which has stayed with me to this day. I used to read voraciously. If it had words on it and you put it in front of me, I read it. πŸ™‚

These days, I don’t get to read nearly as much as I would like to do. Now, I’m working on writing, being the creator on the other side of the page. It’s sort of like being a kid and watching a magician on stage, pulling rabbits out of hats and wanting to know how it is done, and enjoying the wonder of it all. But now, you’re the one on the stage, and you know how the tricks are done. It takes some of the wonder away, that sense of getting lost in a good story, but in return you hope that your mastery of the craft is enough to instill that sense of wonder in someone else, and that they will enjoy your turn at performing the tricks.

I can only hope that at some point, some mother out there will read one of my tales to their child and it will ignite that same passion for reading.

So, if you are at home, and you need something to do with your kids, try reading to them. You never know where it will lead.

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