When I was a teenager in the America of long ago, there was something called a transistor radio and each and every kid either had one or was pleading with their mom and dad for one.
I finally received mine as a birthday gift at the beginning of a glorious June day! Out of these radios in summers back then, drifted the sweet music of the “summer song”, as they were called. They spoke of “Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer”, “Summer in the City”, “Warm California Nights”, and “Summer Breeze”. We listened to those evocative tunes that heralded summer with its slowed down pace, hot days and hotter nights, flipping our pillows to the cooler side in pre- air conditioned houses and dreamt of days filled with no schedules, just fun.
One thing that was also a constant was frequent trips to the library during the summer to catch up on reading for the sheer enjoyment of finding a new book you hadn’t read. Our town library was a trek from my house and I sort of dreaded the long walk in the heat, but I remember the smell of the books in the stacks as I entered. I was home. I could wander, check out new editions, see what had been returned and plod home with my pile of goodies, due back in two weeks’ time.
Long, leisurely summers haven’t changed since I was young, nor the possibility of free time for reading. The great thing about a book is, like the transistor radio of long ago, they’re portable and can be taken along most anywhere. And they still smell good!
I know most of my readers have a public library nearby, where books are still on loan for free, but what I also hope you have access to in YOUR town is a great user friendly, welcoming children’s bookstore. They provide great selections of reads for all age groups and are eager to help with suggestions for age appropriate materials of particular interest to YOUR child. In our town, we’re fortunate to have a fantastic children’s bookstore called “Acorns.” I’ve filmed multiple episodes of “Penguin Storytime” there. As soon as I walk in, I’m reminded of a similar store in the movie, “You’ve Got Mail.” I love it and so do our local kids! The staff is helpful and there are comfortable chairs everywhere; some pint-sized. There’s even a table shaped like a mushroom with little mushroom shaped chairs surrounding it!
“Early and often” is my mantra for reading to and with a child and summer is the perfect time to begin. Happy summer reading!
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