A Great Book Is Where It All Begins!

Amy Rees
March 11, 2009

Grab your little ones, snuggle up, and crack open the cover of a book, new or already beloved. 

It's not just a recipe for a lovely moment for all of you; it's the recipe for healthy child development. Reading, as we all remember from too many afterschool specials, is fun-damental. 

But how? Why? What is reading for preschool-aged kids, who likely can't read themselves and sometimes can't seem to sit still for extended listening. We know it's important, but we're not always sure why and we don't always know how best to spotlight the delights of reading in the daily whirl of family life. 

Take a tour with us this month at Being Savvy as we wander the stacks, delight in the worlds between the covers, unpack the whys and hows and whens, and explore the world of early childhood literacy from a parent's perspective. From stories to crafts to developmental experts' advice to real-world tips and inspirations, this month is going to be grand. 

What makes a great book for you? For your kids? Does it rhyme? Does it teach you something? Does it help you feel far, far away? Perhaps you turn to a book when you need some help as a parent, and that makes it great. Perhaps you think a book is great when you make it yourself. A great book makes you hungry? Makes you grateful? Makes you want to read it alone? Maybe it's the pictures that make a great book. Or the chapters, which let you pick up where you left off last night. Stay with us every day this month as we stroll through the stacks, delighting in the fun of a great book.

Here's a thought to set us off together: much of what we do when we read to our kids -- and even when we write to them and sing to them and even just talk to them -- is doing the work of creating a lifelong reader. 

The National Association for the Education of Young Children has wonderful ideas on how to start early with reading and your child. (And they don't even mention reading as an antidote to the tsunami of screen-based media in all of our lives, including our children's.) They suggest books for propping up before the littlest babes, cloth and vinyl books or books with sturdy, easy-to-turn pages for grasping toddler hands, books that teach names, books that start with simple stories and move up through engaging tales for older preschoolers. 

The point is to read, early and often, to laugh and enjoy the stories, to puzzle through the words and the detail and the imagination jaunt that any book takes you on. 

Because a great book truly is where it all starts. 

From the Parents

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