Tuesday, December 27, 2011

If you give a child a book...

You open their minds to new worlds and new words. With the right choice of book, you can stretch their boundaries - and abilities.

You can send them to unexpected places where they can learn about character and choices and responsibility and a whole host of virtues.

You can show them the consequences of bad choices, and the sorts of characters they should pity and avoid in their "real life".

You can ignite a child's desire to learn.

I gave each of my wee nieces a selection of books for Christmas. The 5 year old received a novelty book with decreasing ladybug buttons on each page for "counting down from 10", the very silly and enjoyable "If you give a cat a cupcake" (which her big sister can read to her) and "Twas the Night before Christmas" that she can grow into as her parents and others read to her.

The 8 year old received, "How apples grow"...because we saved seeds from our fall apple picking venture and we plan to grow trees :) she also received some fun, age appropriate "early reader" picture books.... and "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" - her first Narnia book. Its a little advanced for her, but as she immediately started to pick her way thru the first few pages I knew it was the right time.

We had a little chat about it, because it is a CHAPTER book, you see. I explained that it would be a bit challenging, but that I know she will grow into it. She likes the idea of a challenge, of a book to "grow into", of being able to acquire - with help here and there - this wonderful story.