Cutting Their Teeth on Books

Cutting Their Teeth on Books

At times, I fear for good, old-fashioned books, especially children’s books. That is, I fear until I go into a library or a book store. They are always busy with book-loving people of all ages. Then, I’m comforted; I know the written word is alive and well.

I began reading to my son long before he was six months old. When my grandchildren were born, their parents and I read to them. Books are a big part of their world now. Their bookshelves are overflowing.

It seems to me a book is one of the best shower gifts for a newborn. What better start to a bright future than an early introduction to the amazing world of reading? Some books are cloth and it doesn’t matter if babies put them into their mouths. They are soft and pliable and good for little ones to hang onto.

When I was a youngster, I liked the Thornton W. Burgess books, largely because I loved animals and nature and the animals took on people characteristics.

The Little Golden Books! What a great library of bright pictures and happy plots. They offer short, attractive stories and illustrations on just about any subject in the world.       

Kindergarteners favored the Frog and Toad series. by Arnold Lobel. These are gentle stories of two friends who try to be polite but get into difficulties anyway.

There’s The Berenstain Bears and who could forget Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter?

The really neat thing is these books are still available, still appealing, still loved by children and adults even in this day of advanced technology.

Another unforgettable book which was more for adults than children, was O Ye Jigs and Julips! by Virginia Cary Hudson. This was a hilarious book of a child’s eye view of life in general and her church in particular. My dear little teaching intern introduced me to this book the year she was interning in the kindergarten class I taught.

So, the next time you receive an invitation to a baby shower, don’t agonize on what to buy. The answer is simple. Take that little fellow or girl a gift of reading. It might be just the thing for the parents too!

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