Friday, November 30, 2012

Lap Books Are Forever...

As November, and Picture Book Month winds down, I'd like it to go out with a word, or two...

Think with me. A twilight blanket covers up each and every day with twinkling stars. Supper is consumed, over rumpus glee. The rhythm of the day becomes a distant drum beat. A slippery little body is bathed and pajama-ed. Maybe a chase ensues in defiance of sleep. At last caught, the child is drawn onto a parent's lap. A big book yawns across them both. Bedtime story. Snap. Picture.

Memories are made on the lap. The truest words, if ever there were, are read aloud, soft and real.
Pictures, luscious-glorious pictures, breathe even more meaning into the story. A picture book might just be a child's first glimpse of Fine Art. Bluest blues, reddest reds, ripe yellow, and toasty browns. Mental notes are taken. Unconscious. Of course.

Words, luscious-glorious words bounce around inside the child, sometimes never to be forgotten. A picture book might just be a child's first round of poetry or prose. And that lap. Who could ever forget that lap. Time spent in direct contact. Slow words. As rich as slow food. It lulls a child (and parent) into a magical sleep. Unfettered by the doings of the day.

Wake and repeat.

This month and every month of eternity, please read a picture book to your young child. You may think, she or he is too old for a picture book. Or that there isn't enough... TiMe. But think with me, and think again.

Scoop 'em up and fling a big book across your lap. You'll never regret having that memory stuck in your head. I promise.

(Illustration print available on Etsy by Kim Parkhurst)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Calling all dads...

Adore your daughters... it makes their paths to empowerment a bit less winding.

Friday, November 16, 2012

3... 2...1... and BOOK LOVE has ignition!

I'm part of a book launch team for a mighty little book, BOOK LOVE; Help Your Child Grow From Reluctant To Enthusiastic Reader, by award winning educator, entrepreneur and parent, Melissa Taylor.   

BOOK LOVE debuts today on Amazon Kindle. I like to think of it as a parent's field guide to understanding the reluctant reader. It's smart and personable. It investigates all the various reasons why your child hasn't yet embraced reading. Book Love is loaded with insight, inspiration, games, book lists and support.

My son, Nick, did not "learn" how to read.  For him it simply unfolded, when he was good and ready. Ms Taylor believes that reading happens when your child is ready. Rushing not allowed! That's my very favorite part. But not all children unfold in this way.   

I do wish I had a copy of Book Love when my youngest child's interest in reading seemed to pause. Was it soccer? Or ice skating, skiing, gymnastics, social butterflying, running, skipping and jumping that was stealing her attention away from books? Or was it something else.  

It was something else.  

In fourth grade,  my buoyant little Annie was tested by the reading specialist at her school.  The results led her to three weekly sessions with the plucky, seasoned, and fun Mrs Spotts'.  

Mrs Spotts' reading room had a mini fridge with single serving bottles of sparkling juice, bins of gadgets, and books and games, and all possibilities. It's never easy to leave your regular classroom for the reading specialist. But Mrs Spotts' made the leaving easy. Two years later, after a lot of hard work, Annie no longer needed to see Mrs Spotts'. And believe me, she did not want to leave!  Who would?

Fast forward to HS, and two sports related concussions. It was "something else" again.This time, Annie went to a vision specialist who prescribed prism glasses, and began treating Annie for vision/ reading issues.

I don't know for certain if the concussions brought on new reading issues, or if her reading issues simply resurfaced when the reading got more complex. Or if it was a combination of all of the above. Annie is in college now. She never ceases to amaze me. She is an honor student, with straight A's. She plays competitive volleyball, and keeps a very bubbly social/sorority life.  

No one misguided me along the way. Annie received excellent, thoughtful care from her teachers. But had I had access to BOOK LOVE  back then, I'm certain I would have had a different perspective on Annie's issues. I would have been more proactive.  Felt more protected and more empowered. 

And for that, (and more) BOOK LOVE is a treasure.  

Visit BOOK LOVE bonuses page here through November 18th for more information about this lovely guide book.  Read my Amazon review  here.