"There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. A Love of books is the best of all!" ~ Jacqueline Kennedy
One of our most favorite holiday traditions as we countdown to Christmas morning is to gift our lil' monsters with holiday themed story books and age appropriate reads that they can dive into well into the New Year. The coolest thing about a book is that it allows the reader to relate through emotions, travel to different lands and through numerous time periods, without ever having to leave their chair. Both of our boys were gifted shelves of books that welcomed the home as soon as they were born and we've added to their collection year after year. There's nothing more magical or as powerful as ones imagination and as a parent and educator I've always felt pride in watching little one's love of reading unfold and expand as they get older and discover various genres.
Disclosure: Young adult fantasy author T. A. Barron has sponsored this post and opinions expressed are honest and one hundred percent our own.
Raising avid readers that are ages 11 and 6 can sometimes prove to be no easy task when they are often easily mesmerized by the pixelated adventures of their favorite video game characters. When CJ was an only child, one of his favorite sources of entertainment were his board books and classic stories that he'd ask to be read to him over and over again well past bedtime. Back then there was no need for coaxing or bribing him to read because we were concerned he was too distracted by the latest trend-setting highly commercialized gadget. Recently we lost two bookstores in our neighborhood, one that the hubby and I both frequently hung out at after school with friends when we were in junior high. Yes, the bookstore was the hang out spot - we'd wander through the aisles and grab a few of our favorite must have titles and magazines and plop our coats & things on the floor to camp out in a quiet corner.
I swear every time I learn of a new shop that's being set to close, I feel like a piece of our kid's childhoods are swiftly being ripped away. Nowadays CJ is a big fan of funny and relate-able graphic novels and adventurous books with mythical creatures, lots of magic or obstacles in some foreign land. This past weekend I watched from the distance like a proud mama bear as the boys showed each other the title they picked off the shelf, some dismissed and others lingered over as they tried to make a decision on what to purchase with the gift card they received as an early gift from a cousin.
It's said that sometimes when a child shows a lack of enjoyment in reading it's because they haven't found the right book. Our six year old Tristan is just starting to discover what he enjoys about books as he's become a more confident 1st grade reader in the past month. Because of my teaching background I think it's so much easier for me to grasp that I can't compare my children's reading styles or initial desire and that's ok. Our hope is that even though he's a late reader, he'll develop such a fondness for them he'll never want to put them down and we'll keep buying them so that when he's ready to tackle the next level they'll be waiting for him.
Visit these three NYC book stores and pick up the perfect gift for kids of all ages: