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Photo courtesy of Fauquier Times

We paid no heed to the fly buzzing lazily among the window shades in our second-grade classroom. The trials and triumphs of Wilber and his new friend Charlotte had our full attention.

Every afternoon, Sister Mary Helen would read a chapter aloud from Charlotte’s Web. It was my favorite time of the day, more welcome than lunch or recess.  I was as dreamy as Fern, happy to spend the long afternoon listening to the delightfully spun tale about a pig and a spider.

Sister Helen and E.B. White got me started on a lifelong love affair with books.

A good book, read aloud, will enchant any child and entice them to ask for more.  That’s great because we want kids to fall in love with books and reading.

In May, we celebrate Children’s Book Week.  Begun in 1913, the week was meant to mark the importance of children’s books and literacy as life-changers.  Pretty sturdy language to describe the incandescent magic of learning to read and finding a delightful book to practice on.

Nonetheless, a celebration of children and reading is welcome.

Instilling a love of reading early gives a child the key that unlocks the door to lifelong learning.  It helps them to make sense not only of the world around them but also people, building social-emotional skills and of course, imagination.

So, go ahead, raise a reader by sharing your love of Where the Wild Things Are, Little Bear, Frog and Toad, Winnie the Pooh, Ramona Quimby, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Pippi Longstocking or whichever childhood books and authors that stick with you most.

While you’re revisiting old favorites perhaps you’ll remember when a book, a blanket and rain against the window was all you needed for an afternoon of pure bliss.

Maria Del Rosso

Director, Fauquier Public Library

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