In Rosemary Wells’ book Read to Your Bunny, she explains the importance of reading to the little ones in our lives. She says:
ALL OF US love our children more than anything in the world. In their first years we feed them so they grow. We bring them to the doctor so they are healthy. We strap them in car seats so they are safe.
But the most important thing in the first years of life is the growth of the mind and spirit. This is when a child learns to love and trust, to speak and listen.
After a child turns two years old, these things are very difficult to learn or teach ever again. Trusting, singing, laughing, and language are the most important things in a young child’s life.
And so they must come first for mothers and fathers, too, because we can never have those years over again.
Every day, make a quiet, restful place for twenty minutes. Put your child in your lap and read a book aloud. In the pages of the book you will find a tiny vacation of privacy and intense love. It costs nothing but twenty minutes and a library card.
Reading to your little one is just like putting gold coins in the bank. It will pay you back tenfold. Your daughter will learn, and imagine, and be strong in herself. Your son will thrive, and give your love back forever.
I love this. Occasionally a parent or both parents will come into the bookstore and ask what they should read to their one year old. I say every story you can get your hands on. Short stories, long stories, medium size stories. Read them all to that little one year old. I also feel that parents should not stop reading aloud, even when the child becomes a teenager. Reading aloud can be a wonderful bond (see The Reading Promise).
For more information about literacy and this passage visit Rosemary Wells website.