As I was reading over different posts paying tribute to Maya Angelou this morning, I came across this quote: “The best candy shop a child can be left alone in is the library”. (Maya Angelou)
It reminded me of these posters I saw in one of Seattle’s public libraries, “5 best way to raise a reader”: read, talk, write and play with your children in any language. I never saw the 5th poster but I am guessing it is “sing with them”.
What a world opens up to a child when they discover books. First pictures and then when they learn to decipher the code of language and begin to read. Libraries are wonderful entrances to this world of books where imaginations take flight. This is where creativity begins: in the thoughts of a child.
For much of my children’s lives we lived abroad with little access to libraries. When we came back to the United States for breaks, one of the first places we would visit during our settling in time was the Library. We would get our cards then go pick out our books. I know my husband and I enjoyed this maybe even more than our children. I have memories of joining summer reading clubs as a child and going through the shelves picking out books. I was not a great reader as a child but continued steadily on to read year after year. Now it is one of my great pleasures. I read for pleasure as well as to learn and it all happens as I continue to expand my thinking and imagination.
Give the gift of books to your children. Take them to the library often. It will open the doors of their imagination. The best candy store ever, and it won’t rot their teeth! I know we have moved into an era where everything can be found on a screen, but the feel of a book in hand and a whole library full of them cannot be replaced.