I have many fond memories of my daughter growing up and one of the fondest is reading her a nightly bedtime story or two. Story time was our chance to bond without interruption. She would pick out a favorite book, hand it to me and then snuggle closely as I read to her. We sat on Marissa’s bed and she would listen intently. Sometimes she asked questions, sometimes she giggled and sometimes she would ask me to read the story over because she enjoyed it so much. It never took much convincing because I loved the stories and I loved her more. Nothing felt better than her tiny hand on my arm as I read and I loved seeing her reaction during the best part of a book. Her big blue eyes would always light up and her warm smile always let me know that she enjoyed story time as much as I did. It was an added bonus that I got a big “thank you hug” from her each night after story time was over.
It turns out story time had more benefits than warm memories for me and my daughter. Recent studies have shown that when you read to a child regularly, they grow up to be a better reader. Reading helps develop a child’s mind both from an intellectual and imaginative standpoint. Reading not only makes you feel good, it makes your child smarter and more interested in reading for a lifetime
Reading stories to my daughter also put me on a path to pursue a dream. Story time made me realize that one day I wanted to write books and tell stories of my own. If a story can bring a smile to a child’s face and grow their imagination then it is worth writing. I put it off for awhile, but a few years ago I finally did it. I began writing regularly and now besides working my regular job, I am a part time writer. I have been blessed enough to have had two children’s books published. Several of my stories have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul books and in various magazines. I also write this blog. I’m not telling you this to brag, I’m telling you what the power of reading to my daughter did for me. Reading is important for a child and just as important for a parent. I’m reminded of a quote from the writer of many children’s books Dr. Seuss “You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child”.
If you love books and reading be sure to join me and many other Authors at the Eighth Annual Dayton Book Expo. The Expo is this Saturday April 29th at Sinclair Community College. It runs from 11am to 4pm and features Ninety Authors and a Kid Zone which will allow you to meet me and other authors of children’s books. I will be a featured author in the Kid Zone from 1:30 to 2:30. I will read my books The Really Magic Marker and Mealtime Guests (a signed copy of each will be awarded to a lucky child). I will also discuss writing and creating children’s books to interested kids and parents.