By Suzanne Williams, illustrations by Steven Kellogg
For book enthusiasts of all ages, April is the perfect month to center your young reader’s attention on that most leisurely and pleasurable of pastimes – reading. They have the opportunity to discover for the first time or even rediscover the joys and benefits of reading for both pleasure and information. What a vast amount of imaginative worlds await them simply by flicking OFF the TV or video game and picking UP a classic or newly discovered title, awaiting their eager hands and minds. It’s one of the perfect teachable moments and months. In our hectic, fast paced world, what better time to zone in on reading than this month that just happens to be National School Library Month and National Poetry Month. To add to it all, this week, April 14 – 20 is National Library Week!
Caroline Kennedy is the Honorary National Chair of National Library Week. And please visit the American Library Association website at http://www.ala.org/ with suggestions and activities to celebrate the week. Ms. Kennedy has also compiled a selection of poems in her newly released book, “Poems to Learn By Heart.” Do schools still encourage this exercise at the elementary level? Sure hope so. Some of the best poets can be introduced at a young age and the skill of memorization is a transferable one to so many other areas of academics later on. Give it a try with a book of poems for kids. Sometimes it just takes tenacity. Why not begin with a classic such as “Complete Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh” by A.A. Milne with illustrations by Ernest H. Shepard or for more out there fairy tale fare, try “Vile Verses” by the renowned Roald Dahl with drawings by Quentin Blake. This musical stage version of “Matilda” is the smash hit of Broadway!
And speaking of tenacity, this is the perfect time to introduce your child to a picture book character they will not soon forget, one Library Lil! She’s a librarian on a mission and she will not be deterred or swayed by obstacles. Her mission? Get the town folk of Chesterville reading, and for that to happen, it means turning OFF the TV. Good luck Lil!
But wait! Mother Nature can be unpredictable (hey, we’ve all have seen that recently), and she lends Lil an inadvertent helping hand with a storm that knocks out every TV in town! With no TV to while away their time, the locals discover READING with encouragement from Lil! Eureka! Lil’s hit the mother lode to learning, for a while at least. But what happens when a seemingly anti reading character named Bust’em-up-Bill and his gang roar into town. Can Lil go toe to toe with Bill over this book business? Can Bill be turned to see the light and open a book? Or will it take a bet to accomplish the near impossible? Laugh along with Lil and Bill to see!
It’s the perfect book to celebrate National Library Week!
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