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