August 23, 2010

The Reading Corner

My mother reading to I cherish this memory!

My parent's living room was decorated in soft hues of blue. I found this very elegant, calming and relaxing. In one corner of the living room, there was a large wing chair beside a large picture window. This is the chair we chose to sit in, just Mother and I, as she read me stories from "A Children's Storybook"....classics such as The Three Little Pigs, Little Black Sambo, The Little Red Hen, Under the Lollipop many magical stories. My book had a green hardcover and the most beautiful illustrations. How I can still picture Mother and I sitting together in this chair and listening to her sweet voice read me the stories with such expression. This memory is in my heart and mind. I had her undivided attention and it made me feel special to her.

 I kept this book over the years...over fifty to be exact. Somewhere along our many moves and travels, the hardcover was removed and discarded....but the inside of the book with all of the beautiful stories and illustrations remained intact. My book now belongs to our darling baby grandson, LVM. LVM resides in Georgia and is the ripe old age of two! His mother, my darling daughter, MMSM, began her baby's library before he was born. You cannot even imagine how his library has grown with the help of Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles! Everywhere we go, we search for childrens books with a beautiful story to tell, beautiful illustrations to light up his imagination and evoke a smile or giggle.

When I was a young mother, I too wanted to give the love of reading to our children. We created a small corner of their nursery and bedroom as their reading corner...their own children's library. We had a three- shelved bookshelf which had been handmade by my father, HNW. The shelves were full of books that included The Weekly Reader Books and The Newbery Award books.
The John Newbery Medal is a literary award given by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The award is given to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. The award has been given since 1922. It was the first children's literary award in the world. It is named for John Newbery, an 18th century English publisher of juvenile books. The Newbery Medal was designed by Rene Paul Chambellan.

Beside the bookshelf was their little white rocking chair which played music as they rocked and read or just studied the pictures in their books. It was their quiet time and they knew this space belonged to them...was created just for them. And so...our four children...MMSM,GGS, NPS and RFS...all began their childhood with their own Children's Library!

When my first two grandchildren arrived and we were living in Texas, ANS and NRS, I also created their own reading corner in our spare bedroom, which we referred to as The Princess Room.

 This room held all treasured heirlooms from my grandmothers and my mother. The children loved going in The Princess Room and looking at all of the pink Fenton Art Glass and crystal.

 One of our "special outings" on the weekends when they came to Grandma and Papa's to spend the night, was to go to a bookstore and explore the children's book section. They each were allowed to choose two books  and add to their little library section in The Princess Room. I believe they felt special knowing this area belonged only to of NRS's selection was "We're Going On a Bear Hunt" and ANS had chosen, "Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods That Make My Day" by Jamie Lee Curtis.

To me, giving your child a love of books and reading is a parent's responsibility. What better way to enhance your child's mental and emotional development?

A child's bedroom hopefully is a place created to make them feel special, playful, imaginative and yes, know that all is right with the world. Their own reading corner will illuminate their imagination as they select their book of choice and settle back in their own comfy little chair!
This week, I will devote this blog to my favorite authors of children's stories...

Many blessings!

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