Our Love for Books Begins in the Womb

I recently wrote a post about the importance of poetry, where I delved into the poem’s rhythm and rhyme. And today, I want to dig a little deeper. Let’s talk about books themselves. What is the appeal? And when does our love for books begin?mother and daughter reading

For some of us, it begins in the womb, when our mothers and fathers read to us and we hear the vibrations of their voices. In our private world, we hear words for the very first time, and they are soothing. During these sweet moments, our senses are triggered and our brain development is expanded. The words blend with the sound of our mother’s heartbeat, and we hear them.

Then we’re born, and reading becomes a shared, bonding activity between our parents and us. Would you believe that by the time children reach their first birthday, they have learned many of the sounds needed to speak their native language? Gradually, children are exposed to pictures, bright colors, letters, numbers, shapes, and develop their impressions of each.

When they hear the rise and fall of their mother’s and father’s voices, they feel emotions and begin to love and understand these voices. They get to see their parents’ expressions and understand the difference between happy moments and sad ones.

While still very young, babies experience the texture of a book, they hug it, chew on it, grab it, and drop it. When they reach six to twelve months, they start to understand that pictures represent objects. They might start to turn the pages by themselves. As they get older, they will start to read the pictures with their parents. They will learn to cuddle and laugh when their parents use silly voices. They point to the things that they are beginning to understand.

By the time they’re toddlers, children will begin skipping to their favorite pages, understanding what it means to give their personal attention to what they’re doing, receiving their parents’ undivided attention during “reading time,” and developing interests and reactions to what they’re reading.

And this is just the beginning – the foundation of what creates a lifelong reader. Studies show that reading to babies and toddlers increases their chance of success in life. It develops their language skills, exercises their brain, and enhances their concentration and comprehension.

It also encourages their thirst for knowledge, the ability to evaluate, develops their imagination and creativity, helps them to understand and develop empathy, and values as it entertains them, and builds their listening and concentration skills.

What other activity exists that can give all of these irreplaceable things to your child?

I’d love to know what your favorite memories are of reading with your child, or being read to as a child.

Love,

Ruth

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Yours is a comforting voice during a challenging time. Your stories are charming. Each one is uniquely warm and inspiring, and the messages are uplifting for children and parents alike. The books deserve to be in homes across the country — and the world. They remind me of one of my all-time heroes:  Mr. Rogers!  They are kind, nurturing, and so encouraging.

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They are fun to read. Both the writings and drawings are original. They are amazing.  There are so many things that could be learned. One student commented she was also learning about American culture.

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The detail and care you’ve put in these stories is remarkable. I celebrated the wonderful wisdom those students reflected to me while reading your books.

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