A Bunch of Good Reasons to Read Aloud
to Young Children from Ofelia’s Point of View

My granddaughter loves books, and she especially loves balloons. In last week’s blog post, I featured a list of Ofelia’s favorite books from the third year of her life; I was surprised by some she selected.

This week, as I reviewed the list of books she’s had read to her, or has looked at, over and over again, I thought about the many social, emotional, creative, and intellectual gifts she’s received as a result.

I picture her at a book party, holding a bunch of brightly-colored balloons decorated with each of the reasons why parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, older brothers and sisters, friends, teachers, and librarians—why, everybody!—should read stories aloud to young children.

  1. I learn to listen.
  1. I grow my vocabulary
  1. I develop empathy.
  1. I have fun.
  1. I laugh out loud.
  1. I learn a second language.
  1. I find out about the world and all its diversity.
  1. I realize that I can be and do many things.
  1. I observe amazing art.
  1. I feel the rhythm of language.
  1. I encounter all the information that can be found in books.
  1. I spark my imagination.
  1. I see myself and others different from myself.
  1. I feel loved.
  1. I feel safe.

And now, for a moment I remember how, before I began reading on my own, my mother’s voice brought my favorite stories to life. How these stories created in me a sense of hope and well-being, assuring me that the world was full of possibilities; that I could do and be many things, a heroine of my own adventure.

One World, Many Stories Children's Book Week

2018 Children’s Book Week poster, designed by Jillian Tamaki

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