A newsletter I used to get years ago once had an issue about the importance of reading to children. The mother who contributed an article described several cozy scenes: A child cuddled in Dad’s lap while he reads to her from Goodnight Moon. A toddler stopping his running to speed read (!) Pat the Bunny with Grandpa, turning pages faster than Grandpa can read them. A big sister holding the baby in her lap while she turns the pages of a board book, pointing out images like puppy, kitten, ball.
I hope these scenes make you feel as good as they do me, especially those of you here who have either written for children or have or are now reading books to a baby or toddler.
The ideal action, from my point of view, would be to head to a bookstore during the shopping time for an expected baby. What fun to select books, maybe even ones you enjoyed as a child, to read to the newcomer. Some expectant mothers (I have heard) read to their babies before they are born, understanding–as we are told–that the unborn infant can become acquainted with mom’s voice during the last few weeks before birth.
In her list of reasons to read to baby, the article’s author, Christine M. Telthorst, lists several that seem especially important to me.
She says, in her list of “becauses:”
Because children’s books today are so good that they are fun even for adults.
(Because) illustrations in children’s books often rank with the best, giving children a feeling for good art.
Because reading to children will encourage them to become readers and—
Because, when you hold your children and give them your attention, they know you love them.
The authors of beautiful children’s books are stars among all authors!
God bless them.