READ to your baby! That was the expert advice from my doctor 37 years ago when we brought our daughter home from the hospital. And that is exactly what we did! When our son came along 2 years later, we did the same. We read and read and read from their infancy to teen years. They also read to us. We read so much it began to feel like some of the characters were members of our family, we knew them so well. We enjoyed Eloise from Fifth Avenue to Ki-pat from the Kapiti Plain and Sheila Rae, the brave, to the BFG (Big Friendly Giant). We were entertained by thousands of guests each night in our home over the years.
So Much to Love!
These characters brought us adventure, they taught us about life, some were simply silly, or they made us laugh hysterically. They showed us their struggles and inspired us. A number of characters made us realize that no matter how bad we had it, things “could be worse.” To this day we refer to that book! Then there were those that revealed secrets to making the world a better place. Reading every day was a special gift we gave ourselves. And it remains a precious memory—my children on each side of me sharing time together.
Care for the Soul!
That’s why I would like to suggest having a “constant” that you all can depend on each and every day. No matter what these COVID days are like, read to your children and open their little eyes to new people, places, and things. And if you grab a book that isn’t the MOST stimulating, you can embellish and tweak as you go. Or use different voices or accents to bring it to life. But, by all means, make it an event that you all enjoy. Buy or borrow books that YOU think you will love (it helps on nights when you’re exhausted and don’t have much of an imagination yourself). There are many book lists of fine choices.
Here are some of the prestigious awards children’s books may receive in this country. One book per year is awarded the medal, and any runners-up are considered Honors Books.
***Newbery Medal***Most distinguished book
***Caldecott Medal***Most distinguished picture book
***Geisel Medal***Most distinguished book for beginning readers
***Sibert Medal***Most distinguished informational book
***Odyssey Award***Best audiobook for children and/or young adults
***Batchelder Award***Most outstanding translated book
***Belpré Award***Most outstanding Latino culture book
***Notable Lists***Best of the best chosen by the Association for Library Service to Children
The ALSC provides convenient links to each year’s winners.
Make sure to give books as gifts to your children for birthdays, holidays, or just-because days. It shows that you value books, and if you do, they will.
The Story Unfolds!
This small practice a day (also known as a good habit) instills in your children a love of reading, which instills in them a love of learning, which prepares them for life as successful adults, which is basically giving them happiness. And in as much as this is simplistic, it is all about giving them the tools they will need, and that is our job as parents. This daily practice, which is what our Simple Solutions books are all about, is crucial to our children’s health and well-being. And yes, my children grew up well prepared for life—and it took a village of characters!!!