Friday, September 12, 2014

Little Books, Big Impressions....

by Amber Leigh Williams

November 2012 - expecting!
Since my son (who is now almost two) was born, he has slowly inherited the bulk of my childhood library. This is quite impressive. I had more Little Golden Books than any other child I knew. Family members knew better than to get me clothes or board games for my birthday. I was perfectly content with books and coloring books. A few weeks ago, my son disappeared into his room while I was writing. I could hear him rummaging around his bookshelves, trying to find something new. A few minutes later, he reappeared with a Winnie the Pooh hardback picture book, one of those old ones from way back when. I read him the story and he placed it on the floor to go and rummage for another.

Later, while I was making dinner, my son brought the book to my husband to read. I heard them reading it quietly together after which my husband asked me, “Why are there names in this book?”

I glanced at the page, saw the penciled names scrawled there in my own childish handwriting and pursed my lips, thinking back. “Those were some of my stuffed animals,” I replied.

He looked at the names and frowned. “And why did you write them in the book?”

“It’s like a library book,” I told him. “You know how you write your name in the front of a library book?”

He thought it over then slowly began to smile. “So I take it you were the librarian….”

“Yes,” I said. When I saw my husband’s smile grow into a teasing grin, I sighed. “You pretended to be Robin Hood. I pretended to be a librarian. We all had our things.”

Whether our little boy pretends to be a character of folklore or a librarian remains to be seen. We’ll be thrilled either way. However, as children my husband and I both struggled a bit with reading and learning to love the written word. For me, this came in adolescence. The hub is still coming around to it. So from the moment we found out that we had a baby on the way, we began buying books. Board books. Picture books. Counting books. Story books. Even interactive books. We might have quibbled over names and methods of child-rearing. But the one thing we both knew with absolute certainty was that our child would be surrounded by books and hopefully come to love them. Because aside from unconditional love and support, the greatest gift any parent or guardian can give to a child is the gift of literacy.

Whatever either of us are doing, however important it may seem, when our son brings my husband or me a book to read, we drop whatever we’re doing and read to him. This point was really driven home to us over the early summer months when our little guy went through an independent phase. He would pick up a book and start flipping through it but he no longer brought it to us to read and if we tried to do so anyway, he would grow agitated. We knew this was just a phase and that it was all a part of his toddler years. Still, we missed the cuddles and joy story time usually brought.
In July, we were all-too-happy when, little by little, this phase ended and he brought books to us to read to him again, crawling into our laps to listen and flip the pages by himself. Only this time when we opened the books and began reading, he did something terrific. He turned his face to ours and puckered his lips for a kiss as if to say “thank you.” Two months later, he’s still doing this. It’s enough still to make me sniffle. It’s even greater to watch my husband melt when it happens. Above all else, it shows us that our little guy attributes books to love and affection and we’re doing something right. Our plan is working! Almost as much as watching him grow and achieve what he will in life, we’re so excited to see how his love of stories and books evolves.
Here's a little gallery of pictures from our latest story hour and the minion's favorite book, Five Little Pumpkins. I hope you enjoy!
"Woooo went the wind!"

"Aaaand out went the light!"

"And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight!"

"The End!"

"Read it again, Daddy."

"But first a kiss...."
We're less than a month away from the launch of my second Harlequin Superromance novel, Married One Night. You can preorder your copy today at Amazon! In addition, RT Book Reviews has given Married One Night 4-1/2 Stars. Thank you, RT! Readers, you can find out more about Married One Night and the October book launch at my website....
Happy reading, everybody!


Mary Preston said...

What a lovely post. I grew up surrounded by books & so did my children.

Anonymous said...

very nice thank you .
I invite everyone to read this wonderful book

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