Friday, December 19, 2008
Read, Kiddo, Read.
I don't remember when I learned to read. It was before my 4th birthday, according to my mother, and I took to it like the proverbial duck. I inhaled books. I had my own library card and read my way thru most of the children's section and was on to the more adult stuff by the time I was 8. I loved Agatha Christie and James Herriot, Frances Hodgson Burnett and Louisa May Alcott. I was engrossed by The Dragonriders of Pern series and the Little House books. My favourite birthday and Christmas presents were books, most of which I still have.
I've tried to instill that love of reading in my children, without a lot of success. My older two are not avid readers, although starting in high school, Alex became interested in a lot of civil war history. O has some learning disabilities that seem to prevent her from really enjoying books. Plus they both have that streak of "If mom says it's great, I'm not going to like it" going on.
The two little girls like to be read to for very short spurts of time, but at 4 and 2 years old, they don't have the attention spans for it. They do like to cart books around with them, though, which makes me hopeful that they'll start to get more into it as they get older.
Recently, MotherTalk asked me to review a website designed to get children interested in reading. It's called Read, Kiddo, Read and was started by James Patterson. Now, I will be the first to admit that I find the whole James Patterson mystique baffling. He doesn't write the kind of books that I enjoy. Not even a little. But this website is very cool and he has my admiration for starting it. There's a section of book suggestions that covers a great range of ages. There are forums and blogs, written by members and by the professionals involed there. There's a section for teachers, for grandparents and for parents.
It's a great little website. And it needs more traffic to really get the conversation and suggestions rolling in. So if books get you all worked up, if you want to talk books with other parents or grandparents, get yourself over there and register. Have a look around.
Anything that can get kids more interested in reading is, in my opinion, a Very Good Thing. And I think this website, with a little more traffic (which, hopefully, these MotherTalk reviews will generate) could be an amazing resource for anyone who knows a kid who needs a little encouragement in the reading department.