The Gingerbread Man was the first book I learned to read.
Even so, my mother still read to me at bedtime. Bambi: A Life in the Woods took several reading sessions.
It was NOT the Disney version.
When Bambi’s mother died, Mom cried. At the age of five, I experienced the emotional impact of the written word.
My homeschool curriculum included the C.S. Lewis series, The Chronicles of Narnia. While I read, the kids worked on art projects or just doodled. In 1994, my sister and her family visited for three months. At the end of the day, we took turns reading to our eight children. Amongst many titles, Eight Cousins, by Louisa May Alcott, was an obvious favorite.
Melissa Taylor blogs about the benefits of reading aloud to big kids.
Meghan Cox Gurden says, “. . . it’s an irreplaceable gift that builds vocabulary, fosters imagination, and kindles a lifelong appreciation of language, stories, and pictures.”
Reading aloud passes the time on road trips.
Once, before I left town for a week, a tape recorder and a bell from a board game helped me create homemade audio books for the youngest kids.
I gave The Rainbow Fish a grumpy voice. Characters from other books laughed, cried, or sang songs. Long before Skype or Zoom, I read to my children from a thousand miles away.
A special memory is Grandpa Paul reading the Christmas story from the family bible.
For book club, I first search my library for the audio version. When the voice, accent, and pace are just right, I’m lost in the narration.
The main character in my upcoming novel, Tansy in Bloom, is a professional reader. She reads to residents in a nursing home. Failing eyesight, or the inability to sit up and hold a beloved book allows Tansy to reconnect her clients with their favorite stories.
Who will you read to . . . or who will read to you today?