My son just sent me a wish-list of children’s books for his birthday. It’s not a list for the local elementary school book fair he used to give me when he was in grade school. It’s for his 22nd birthday
He’s a junior in college studying to be an elementary and special education teacher. As I read his list, I teared up and swelled up with pride and so many other emotions. Over half of the books are on our bookshelf just a few years used, waiting for grandkids. The others are on my bookshelf at school where I use them as an elementary school counselor.
- The Three Little Wolves and the Big, Bad Pig
- Mike Mulligan and the Steamshovel
- Love You Forever
- Where the Sidewalk Ends
- The Keeping Quilt
- My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother
He’s a third-generation teacher, and his request for children’s books is a score-big for this mom, who raised her kids on stories. There wasn’t a day that went by that we weren’t reading books, or that I wasn’t reading to him or his three siblings. Not a year went by where we spared our change for the book fair, or when we didn’t celebrate their own Young Author books.
As a mom, the greatest investment other than faith in my children’s lives was reading, and honoring the magic of childhood held in a children’s book.
Because a good story is timeless. The gift of a children’s books is how the storyline connects with the creativity of your soul. Profound truths presented in a beautiful, simple, yet profound way.
As a writer, I honor my peers who invest their creative talent by writing children’s storybooks. As a therapist, their gift repeatedly connects with kids who can’t put words to their feelings. As a former History teacher, I had children’s books in my classroom. I was astounded when big, high school juniors would pick up a story during free time and glance through the pages.
There’s power in a children’s book. It’s a gift. Not just for a beginner teacher, but for the reader, of any age, who receives the beauty of childhood that never goes away, because it’s encapsulated in a book with color, imagination, and creative genius.
I’m ecstatic to pass this gift on to another generation.
For all my children’s writer friends—keep creating, keep writing, keep inspiring