Wednesday, April 14, 2010

To love a book

“Few children learn to love books by themselves, they need someone to show them the way.” 

This quote was on the side bar of my blog for over a year.  It is a powerful quote and the reality of it makes that the reason why it takes my breath away.  Most of us know the importance of reading to your children.  Yeah yeah, it fosters learning, vocabulary and gives them the foundation and desire to read on their own…blah blah blah.  Though we all know that it is important, that importance doesn’t become a true reality until you see it happening right. before. your eyes.

Mallory has been fascinated with books since she figured out how to turn pages and Mikayla is quickly following in her footsteps.  Before Mikayla was born I unboxed all of our board books.  Flipping through the pages of these books brought back a flood of emotions.  Not only do the words in books tell a story, the book itself holds so many memories of a different time and place in Mallory’s life.  For example: the pages of The Little Golden Books, Baby Dear are slightly crumpled and one page has a small rip in it.  Looking at the pictures in this book I can almost hear my first born at the young toddler age of 15 months.  She is clean and lotioned up and her mop of hair is wet from her bath.  She says over and over again “Bay-be Deaw, Bay-bee Deaw” That was our bedtime routine for months on end: Bath, rub rub (lotion), book.  The book was almost always Baby Dear.  In the right light, at the right moment, reading that book today brings tears to my eyes.  Another classic big memory in our house is Dr. Seuss Go Dog Go.  It was one of the first book that Mallory, before the age of 2, had memorized.  She would look at the pages and know what the words on the page were.  Her dad and I watched and listened in amazement in our minds she was already a genius :)  Her love of books and reading has never slowed down.  There were times when she would enter a house for a play date, find the books and sit down on the floor and start reading. 

Sitting down and reading to Mallory is now magical.  The stories become alive and the imagination that grows from each story is huge.   You can see her eyes light up and her facial expressions change as the story unfolds before her eyes.  Her reading choices vary from day to day and week to week.  Some days we read the same story two or three times in each day, other times we may go a few weeks before reading the same book twice. 

I hope that these times reading together are a strong memory from our daughter’s childhood.  I hope for the day that they dig through old boxes of books, eyes light up, and they grab a “classic” from their childhood and read it.  I hope that her smiles are as wide as they are today as the memories of the magic unfolds as each paged is turned and each line is read, for there are a few books in this house, that will always be with us…

1 comment:

Amanda Jean said...

Aw...How funny, I remember the first time I came here and talked with you and met the kids, Mallory red the Spot book to me. The second time I came here, you read Baby Dear to Mallory and Libby (and myself) before nap time. :)

I also remember Mallory reading entire Maisy books to me, and getting the words right. I was so shocked and impressed!

I've still hung onto some of my own books from my childhood :)