Guest Author - April Alisa Marquette
Those of you who often read me know that as a writer, I feel that books are important. If you've read my bio, you know that I have successfully tutored middle school and high school students whom others had given up on. Therefore, it is safe for me to expound by saying... I feel that children’s books are of the utmost importance. Not only can they be educational, but books for the young can transport them to other worlds. Books can inspire and cause them to dream. Books can let them know that there is more out there than what they see. These things I know because I was inspired at a young age -- by books. Sure, video games and things of the like are fine, but books are in a category all their own.
Reading a book to your child can also be a great bonding mechanism. I remember that when I was a kid my mom read to me and my siblings at night. She couldn’t do it every night; she wasn't superwoman -- other duties called. However, when she did read to us, it was special. She'd make different voices for the characters and we loved it! Although we often begged for the same story, each time, to us, it was new and exciting, each time it was a pleasurable experience.
If you don't have the luxury of time to read to your children, as is sometimes the case, no shame, no foul. There are other ways for them to get in story time. There are books that you can read aloud one time, thereby recording the story in your own voice, and voila! Each time your younglings open that particular book, you will be telling them a story. Remember that I told you, this will become one of the cherished books. There are also children's audio books, on CD. Many come with an actual hardcover, so that little ones can follow along, even while riding, by turning lovely watercolor pages. There are DVD’s of children’s books, all of which means your child can create their own personal collection.
If you own a Kindle or other e-reader, you've got it made! Children's books can also be downloaded -- even to your I-pad. On Nook, many books will be in full lifelike color. I’ll tell you something that I found out. If you'd like to sample a book before you buy it, go to your local library. For me it was, and still is, a sacred world, a sanctum, that has a scent and a feel all its own. There, in the quiet, as you peruse row after row of the most interesting things, your little one can check out the book of their choosing. Then at home or in your car, they can read, watch, or play it. If they love it, you know that’s the one to buy.
There are Read 'n See Bibles, holiday and celebration stories, and kids books which show and aid in potty training. There are books touting the beauty of ethnic children's skin and hair. If you'd like to teach your African American child poetry, there are books that can open this world to them. There are heaps of multi-cultural and ethnic books for children of color, and some of you are sure to love the children's cookbooks! These give great ideas on how to have supervised fun in the kitchen; they are also a great tool for expanding the appetites of small picky eaters.
Did you know that U.S. President Obama's sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, has written a children's book? It is a tribute to their grandmother. With beautiful ethnic illustrations by Yuyi Morales, also an author, this book is sure to be a winner. So give your little ones a leg up in life, by starting them on a lifelong journey…with books. Investing in your child -- or any other -- is something you will never regret because there is nothing so lovely as a beautiful mind!