Friday, September 10, 2010

The Joy of Reading with Zoey

I L-O-V-E children's books. I always have, and I always will. The creativity, the imagination, the possibility, the innocence, the beautiful art and the simplicity of the stories = wonderful, endless hours of reading fun and literary pleasure.

When I was a little girl my mom used to walk us down to the Manteca Library, pulling us along in our little Radio Flier red wooden wagon. I was always ecstatic for these weekly outings, and I could barely contain my excitement as we approached the familiar, welcoming brick building and Library Park. I would rush inside and become immersed in and captivated by a beautiful world of pictures, words, imagination and opportunity. The hardest part for me, however, was that fact that mom would only allow us to check out 10 books at a time. Only 10?! Really mom? Dang it - what a difficult decision making process for a bookworm little girl like I was. But luckily I knew that the selections I had to leave behind that particular week would be waiting for me on the following visit.

Reading to our children is not only a wonderful way to encourage their language development, but it also presents a fantastic opportunity for family bonding. Just as I recall countless positive memories involving books and snuggle time in my mom and dad's lap, I hope to recreate the same type of special, intimate memories for Zoey. We read to her everyday - before each nap and bedtime as a way to "wind down", and also at any opportunity where she shows an interest in books. Granted she still often enjoys eating the books more than listening to the stories at this point, but she is quickly getting better about siting still as we read to her, patting the books with excitement and engaging in the tactile experience of reading page by page. She loves books, almost as much as I do I think. Hopefully she'll become a little bookworm herself, just like her mommy.

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