Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Abracadabra!

Last week I overheard a storytime patron whisper to her mother, “I think she has a special reading voice because she’s a librarian. It’s like magic.”

Coincidentally, I just finished reading Mem Fox’s phenomenal book, Reading Magic: Why reading aloud to our children will change their lives forever. She doesn’t just encourage reading aloud, she is persuasive and joyful in her insistence that we must do so from day one. According to Fox, “The best time to start reading aloud to a baby is the day it is born. The lilting rhythm of a simple bedtime book on that first thrilling, exhausting day is soothing for the tremulous parents and the new child and adds to the bonding between them.”

The earlier we expose babies to the fun and fabulous language of books, the earlier they will develop the language skills they need to make sense of the world around them. So, is it magic? No, not really. But, I’ll trade pulling a quarter from behind someone’s ear for the warmth and silliness of reading aloud any day of the week.

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