Read My Lips!

I watch the New York Times Bestseller list and it appears that if you’re a writer desiring to see your book fly off the shelf, incorporate the words “Angels”, “Heaven” or “Pray” in your title. Wow. I was laughing to myself after reading this, strategizing that my next book is going to be, “Angels Pray in Heaven.” LOL!

As a kid, I was in love with Dr. Seuss. I even imposed my “Seuss-ville” belief system on to my kids, getting every book that the dear “Dr.” Theodor Giesel wrote. One of my favorites (still to this day) is “Oh, The Places You'll Go!” I can tell you that I have given away this book at least thirty times over the years. It’s a great graduation gift and if the recipient would look hard, they would find a $20 bill from me embedded in the pages! Some thank you responses would say, “Thanks Ms. Sue for the book”, while others would say, “I love this book. I especially loved the 20 dollar bill you taped to page 22!” It’s then I knew – they read it!

The last two books Geisel wrote spent several months on the bestseller lists with themes that appealed to adults as well as children. The Los Angeles Times quoted him saying, "Finally I can say that I write not for kids but for people." Geisel had no children of his own, though he had stepchildren from his second marriage. I love his quote from the Chicago Tribune - "You make 'em, I amuse 'em!" The author also said, "I don't think spending your days surrounded by kids is necessary to write the kind of books I write. Once a writer starts talking down to kids, he's lost. Kids can pick up on that kind of thing."

You think? Kids pick up on a LOT of things. And whether writing, speaking, or singing, the true test (for me personally) is to see myself in the eyes of the child. And since my lips move when I read too, I connect with my younger counter-parts. Once while speaking for a Girls event, this bright child came to me saying, “Ms. Sue, you probably wouldn’t do too well on the TV show, “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?” She’s right! So my “quivering reading lips while trying to read silently” continues, even as I’m editing this! The best part of reading to kids though is that you can move your lips, be silly, and they won’t care!

Read Aloud – and Be Proud!

1. Children benefit from listening to others read long after they themselves have learned to read. Books with rhyme, rhythm and repetition are excellent.
2. Reading aloud to your child is such a benefit. They’ll watch you read and mimic your inflections. Picture books with detail are the best.
3. Reading their favorite book again and again is such a benefit. As they get to really know the story well, have them fill in words for you.
4. As your child gets older and gains in reading ability, occasionally pick a book at her reading level and take turns reading to one another.

Another favorite for me is, “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish”. Spiritually, we can apply the “Seuss-ism” here, and measure it with our walk with Christ – “One Fish Two Fish Big Fish Go Fish!”

Revelation 1:3 (The Message) How blessed the reader! How blessed the hearers and keepers of these oracle words, all the words written in this book! Time is just about up.

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