Thursday, June 4
The other day, a lady came through my checkout line with just a children's book. Considering I work in a Burlington Store, this was quite unusual. She said her son had agreed that they wouldn't buy a toy, but he got around it by "finding" a book.
I told her that when my daughters were younger and we still had a bookstore in Vancouver Mall, B.Dalton's had been their reward for behaving in all the other stores.
My kids figured out early on that while I didn't always have money to buy a toy, I rarely turned down the chance to buy them a book. In fact, I think it's one of the best things I ever did as a parent--teach my girls that reading is a priority and a pleasure.
I read to both my girls when they were young. KB was reading chapter books in first grade. Her first favorite series were the Animorphs--which she read over the next few years before graduating to Harry Potter and on.
JV didn't really become a reader until later--struggling in school until Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I was swamped the summer it came out and didn't find time to read it aloud, so she took it upon herself to read it. Harry Potter turned her into a proficient reader.
And when I have to find a present for a new baby or a toddler, I go to the bookstore. They are never too young to learn the gift of reading.