Friday, February 3, 2012

More than Paper and Ink

Photography fun with Sophia, my newest granddaughter

These are a few of my favorite things:

Snuggly wee ones. Books. Comfy chairs--squeaky old rockers will do. Soft blankets. Pudgy little fingers pointing at pictures, turning pages, clapping at happy endings. Tiny voices full of questions, gasps, and giggles. Wide-eyed wonder. Taking adventures to distant times and places without leaving the room.

And the blessing of watching children grow into adults who love snuggly wee ones, books, comfy chairs, soft blankets . . . .

I recently experienced that blessing when I browsed my newborn granddaughter's small library, one her parents made sure to have waiting in her nursery before her birth. Tiny volumes filled with paper and ink and so much more. Stories that will teach her about kindness, sharing, and planting kisses. Tales that will leave her marveling at God's creation. Characters waiting to become her loyal friends--friends she can introduce to her children and grandchildren someday.

The National Education Association's annual Read Across America Day is less than a month away. Help "build a nation of readers." Read to a child today. And tomorrow. And the day after that.

Which children's book will you grab first? I'm always searching for new stories to treasure with my grandchildren, so I'd love to know. I'll be looking for your answer in the comment section below.

Next time you share a book with a child, don't forget to grab a camera, snap a picture, and enter my Wee Are Readers Photo Contest. Details here.

Remember, the children we read to now will grow up and read to the children of the future. Your love for reading can impact generations. Share the gift!

27 comments:

  1. One of my favorite stories to read to grandchildren is a book my oldest daughter gave me after my first grandchild was born--The Hello, Goodbye Window. Such a heartwarming story about how special grandchildren feel when they visit grandparents' homes. A must-read!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That might be one of the cutest pictures I've ever seen!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww! Thanks, Heather. I'm hoping to see pics of your sweet girls in my Photo Parade. :-)

      Delete
  3. Since I just completed a class on Children's Literature, I have lots of LOVE LOVE LOVE titles for you but I'll post just a few here: Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Llama Llama Red Pajamas, A sick Day for Amos Mcgee, I Ain't Gonna Paint No More, Chicka Chicak BOOM BOOM (okay I'll stop)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No need to stop, aobrauni! Llama Llama Red Pajama is the only title you suggested that I've heard of. I appreciate your list. The more, the better. Thanks!

      Delete
  4. Sorry, I guess you really dont know who aobrauni is do you? It's me ALLY Braunigner! Any of Mo Willem's Pigeon books are wonderful (and I can imagine Steve as the Pigeon) Mo also has The Elephant & Piggie books. Don't let the Pigeon stay up Late is also good. Laura's Star (LOVE), Bad Case of Stripes (LOVE LOVE), Good night Gorilla.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! I thought perhaps you wanted to remain mysterious, Ally. :-) Well, now I HAVE to get some Pigeon books to hear Steve play the role. (I can't get the image of a pigeon with Barney Fife's voice out of my mind now.) I can't wait to check these books out and give some as gifts. Feel free to share more titles . . . and to enter my contest. I can imagine a pic of all three of your girls piled up with one of these books. Go for it!

      Delete
  5. My grandchildren love for me to read them. They have three stories they love most of all. Here they are: (1) the favorite is a surprise! A book with lots of words: Baldytop: A Christmas fairy tale by Pat Wynnejones (2)Bombus the Bumblebee by Elsie Larson...a delightful encouraging book with wonderful illustrations. (3) I Love You This Much by Lynn Hodges & Sue Buchanan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandy, I LOVE #3! It makes me all misty-eyed when I read it, especially now that my kids are mostly grown. I've never heard of the other two you listed, but I will definitely check them out. Thanks so much. Hope your hubby enjoyed his birthday/retirement day. What a cause for celebration! :-)

      Delete
  6. Another book that makes a great family treasure is All the Places to Love written by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Mike Wimmer. A precious story about love that lasts through generations. Love, love, LOVE it!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lily's favorite, at 3 years old, was In The Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak. She heard it so many times she memorized it word for word and used to astonish friends and family as she "read" it to them. Goodnight Moon, and Grandfather Twilight were also faves.

    Glad to receive your blog; one of the downsides of leaving Facebook behind was losing touch with you and a few others...I don't really regret it though, more time offline :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa, it's awesome when kids loves stories so much they memorize them. Hope you got Lily's rendition recorded. Thanks for sharing fav titles. Miss you on Facebook, but I'm sure you're loving your extra time. Big hugs to you!

      Delete
  8. Here's a recap of suggested titles so far:

    1. The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster
    2. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
    3. Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late By Mo Willems
    4. Llama Llama Red Pajamas by Anna Dewdney
    5. A Sick Day for Amos Mcgee by Philip C. Stead
    6. I Ain't Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont
    7. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr.
    8. The Elephant & Piggie series by Mo Willems
    9. Laura's Star by Klaus Baumgart
    10. Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon
    11. Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathman
    12. Baldytop: A Christmas Fairy Tale by Pat Wynnejones
    13. Bombus the Bumblebee by Elsie Larson
    14. I Love You This Much by Lynn Hodges & Sue Buchanan
    15. All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan
    16. The Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
    17. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
    18. Grandfather Twilight by Barbara Helen Berger

    ReplyDelete
  9. 19. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another one of my all-time favs! Thanks! :-)

      Delete
  10. Growing up, I loved anything Berenstain Bears and I know my mother got incredibly tired of reading a Little Golden Book called The Forest Hotel to me night after night. Now that I'm a nanny, the kids love the Scaredy Squirrel books by Melanie Watt, the Fancy Nancy books by Jane O'Connor and Rosemary Wells' Macduff and Max and Ruby books. I could go on...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jennifer, my oldest granddaughter loves Fancy Nancy books. Gotta admit, I do to! I thought I had read all Little Golden Books, but I've never heard of The Forest Hotel. Thanks for sharing all these titles. Books are my go-to gifts for children, and since my life is full of wee ones, I appreciate all the recommendations I can get. Thanks so much!

      Delete
  11. Nancy Rose Ollerman MyronFebruary 4, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    Bradbury's "Switch on the Night" - just bought it for my Kdg. granddaughter to read for herself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I checked Amazon for this title and found used copies available for a penny (plus $3.99 shipping). A book delivered to my door for $4 is a bargain. Thanks for the suggestion, Nancy!

      Delete
  12. A book I use to love to read to my Kindergarten class was Christina Katerina and the Box by Patricia Lee Gauch. It is about a little girl who uses the box from her Mother's new refrigerator. With her imagination she makes it into lots of different things before it falls apart. At the end of the book she gets another big box to start over. It shows that by using your imagination you can visit places and make things into other things. I would then bring some boxes in for the class to play with. I got the book when I belonged to a bookclub when my children were small I really loved the book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love this suggestion, Linda! It's amazing how young kids often find the boxes more entertaining than the gifts inside. Just last night, I found a stove/oven on Pinterest made from a cardboard box that I'd love to help my grandkids make for the playhouse out back. Any book that encourages creativity is a winner with me. Thanks!

      Delete
  13. Diana, a book you would love because you have grandchildren who live away is "Banjo Granny" by Sarah Martin Busse andJacqueline Briggs Martin. It is a book about a little boy waiting for his Grandma to visit. It tells the story about her crossing the mountains, the river and etc. as she makes her way to him. I usually buy one now two each year and when I visit my grandson's classroom I read it to their class and give it to them. Many of the children in my grandson's classes are military so they do not live around their grandparents. It is so much fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like this is one I'll be sending to my new granddaughter in New York, Linda. I certainly cross mountains and rivers to get there. :-) I can't wait to read it. I appreciate your suggestions very much.

      Delete
  14. Love the photo!
    I never have anyone here to take a photo of me reading to my grands. :(
    My youngest grands still love Winnie the Pooh. :) Each of the grands were given the classic pooh stories and a bible with their names printed on it.
    Bless you and yours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Winnie the Pooh is a classic, Wendy, and the Bible is a must, in my opinion. Thanks for reminding us to include them in our list of favs. If I lived nearby, I'd be thrilled to snap some pics of you reading to your grandbabies. Maybe the older ones could give the camera a try sometime. Hope they get to visit again soon!

      Delete
  15. Diana,
    You are having entirely too much fun and I think it is wonderful!! The photo of Sophia (love the name) is priceless. What a worthy project you have going here. I couldn't agree with you more about the importance of reading to children..my grandsons have so many books they love, I couldn't begin to name them. All I know is that they are at the age that they want to read to me. I was thrilled when 6 year old Jacob recently told me he finished the children's Bible book I had given him a few years ago. "Nana , I looove the story when Jesus goes up to Heaven. That's my favorite one." I will try to come up with a photo :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen, I had to bring home as many pics as possible from my short visit to New York, and I couldn't resist a fun book shot. Sophia may have something to say about it when she is older, but for now, I found her quite cooperative. I'm thrilled to hear that your grandsons now want to read to you. Isn't it precious when the roles switch and you hear their sweet little voices telling stories instead of yours? Your heart must have melted when Jacob told you about his favorite Bible story. Mine melted just hearing about it. I hope you find a photo. I'd love to include it in my Wee Are Readers Photo Parade next week!

      Delete