I love books. I’ve loved them for as long as I can remember. When I was very young my mother emphasized to me the importance of being able to read and then reading as many books as I could get my hands on. There were always stacks of books in my room when I was growing up and I recall frequent road trips during which I would read in the back seat. It was normal for me to gauge the distance from point A to point B by how many books I would be able to read in between them. I have to admit that sometimes I would crochet in the back seat instead of read. My father traveled in ministry when I was young (and he still does), so there were so many opportunities to read and crochet. Lots of the trips were quite long so I suppose you could say that they were one afghan and three book trips.
My love of reading found a new outlet when I became a mom. Both of my sons had rather extensive libraries before they were even born. It paid off because both of them, now adults, are avid readers and consequently are well-versed and love a great conversation.
In more recent years I’ve begun teaching pre-kindergarten and now I get to guide children through their first reading experiences. The feeling of seeing their proverbial lights come on and sensing their excitement when they begin to make the connection between the words they say and the words on the pages of a book is indescribable. I read lots of books to my students and almost every time, as we are gathering on the big rug, I tell them, “This is one of my favorite books.” and then I’m again reminded that I really do say that almost every time. When this happens, as it frequently does, I question myself. Is this really one of my favorite books? Do I honestly have that many favorite books? The answer is always, “Yes. I really do.” Not only that, I can probably give you three points and a poem to explain why each book is so important to me. It’s really fun when my students begin declaring that certain books are their favorites. When this happens I know that they are developing that same adoration and craving for words and books. (Sounds like a behavior modeling lesson is going to begin unless I move on.)
BookWalks will be my means of sharing my favorite children’s books with you. I’ll share some pages from the books and give you a sense of the cool stuff hidden between the covers. I hope that you’ll offer your thoughts with me on the books, too. If you have any ideas for coordinating lessons and activities please share them in the comments section. A little internet collaboration could do us all some good.
My first BookWalk was posted yesterday and the selection was This Land is Your Land (10th Anniversary Edition), by Woody Guthrie with illustrations by Kathy Jakobsen and a special tribute from Pete Seeger. Check it out and be sure to join me for the next BookWalk.