Those of you who often read me know that as a writer of adult fiction, I feel that books are important. If you’ve read my bio, you know that I have successfully tutored middle school and high school students that others had given up on. Therefore, I will say again: I feel children’s books are of the utmost importance. Not only can they be educational, but books for the young can transport them to other worlds. Although I don’t write children’s books, I know that they can inspire and cause little ones to dream. Books can let them know that there is more out there than what they see. These things I know because I was inspired at a young age — by books. Sure, video games and things of the like are fine, but books are in a category all their own.
Reading a book to your child can also be a great way to bond. When I was a kid, my mom read to me and my siblings. She did so at night. She couldn’t do it every night; she was not superwoman — other duties called. However, when she did read to us, it was special. She would make different voices for each character and we loved it! Although we often begged for the same story, each time, to us, it was new and exciting, each time it was a pleasurable experience.
If you don’t have the luxury of time to read to your child, as is sometimes the case, no shame, no foul. There are other ways to get in some story time. There are books that you can read aloud one time, thereby recording the story in your own voice, and voila! Each time your younglings open that book, you will be telling them a story. Remember, that will become one of their most cherished books. There are also audio books for kids. Many come with an actual hardcover book, so that little ones can follow along. While riding they can turn lovely watercolor pages. There are e-books for children too, so that your child can create their own personal collection.
If you’ve got a Kindle or other e-reader, you’ve got it made! Children’s books can also be downloaded — even to your I-pad. On Nook, many books appear in full lifelike color.
I’ll tell you something else I found out. If you want to ‘sample’ a book before you buy, go to your local library. For me, decades ago when I was little, the library was a sacred world. To me it still is; it’s a sanctum, one that has a scent and a feel all its own. There, in the quiet, as you peruse row after row of the most interesting things, your little one can garner a lifelong thirst for knowledge, and they can check out the books of their choosing (with your supervision, of course). Then at home or in your car, they can read, watch, or play their newfound books. Then if they love one or two, you’ll know those are the ones to buy.
There are Read ‘n See Bibles, holiday and celebration stories, and kids’ books which help parents potty train. There are books touting the beauty of ethnic children’s skin and hair. If you’d like to teach your child poetry, there are books that can open this world. There are heaps of multi-cultural and ethnic books for children of color. There are wonderful children’s cookbooks! These show families how to have supervised fun in the kitchen; they are also a great for expanding the appetites of picky eaters.
Armed with this knowledge, give your little ones a leg up in life by starting them on a lovely journey . . . with books!