Literal Power

Old Advice for a New AgeThere are few things in life that can truly give a person power. Learning to speak multiple languages is one of those things. Becoming comfortable with mathematics is another, and learning to read is another. And one more: being able to read. There is incredible power in being able to read. In this era of technology, screen media, and audio and visual stimuli, we often overlook the power of simple literacy.

However, ask the parents of the four-year-old who can suddenly read the signs on the vendor carts at the State Fair—how hard is it to redirect the little blossoming literary critic to the parents’ agenda now that she can read “ice cream”? Just that little bit of knowledge has given that child new power and her parents new headaches. Continue reading “Literal Power”

Brown Bear, Purple Cat

bearcoverSomething happened this summer at our house. Suddenly bedtime stories, which have always been a time for Mom and Dad to pile onto our daughter’s bed and read to her, are now a time for us to pile onto our daughter’s bed and listen to her read to us.

A few nights ago, she grabbed her copy of Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr. When I asked her who was going to read the book, she said “I am”, and she a launched into a delightful reading of the story, complete with a different voice for every animal. She read the cat as a smooth, softly spoken sophisticate, and the sheep was as down to earth and throaty as it could have possibly been. I could not have read that story any better myself. Continue reading “Brown Bear, Purple Cat”