To commemorate the launch of our new BookStorm program, Dr. Ruth Ann Marston, Friend of the Phoenix Public Library, has this to say about putting books into the hands of children ...
What a privilege it is to match a child to a book. We can offer them opportunities to explore many worlds, to argue many philosophies, to discover how much animals are like us, and how much we are like people who do not even look like us. We can choose a book at a reading level that helps them pleasurably stretch their skills without being so difficult that the content is lost in the decoding.
Choosing to spend hours of your life in some exciting, enchanting, exotic — past, imaginary, present or future place while all the time knowing you are truly safe and comfortable…What could be better than that? I know… having the fine mind of a skillful author to trigger and tantalize your mind’s imagination until you almost believe you really are the hero, princess, magnificent animal, sports figure or scientific explorer overcoming all challenges.
If you are reading this, you certainly have had hundreds, perhaps thousands of such experiences, incidentally increasing your knowledge, skills and motivation to learn. You have followed up on those experiences by discussing them with others, by making the recipe, writing in a journal, reading the sequel, poring over maps, finding more books with more details and pictures, winning an argument, getting better at your job, showing a greater understanding other people or just falling asleep comfortably distracted from tomorrow’s problems. Books give our children all of these possibilities and a myriad of others. Whether we choose a selection of books for a class to select from, listen to and use all our skills to tantalize a reluctant reader, or expand on a current popular interest that “everybody” is excited about, helping a child choose a book is surely a gratifying experience.
Do you have a favorite memory of sharing a book with a child? Who read to you when you were young?