From Madeline to The Little Prince: Why Children's Books Matter
A quick, fun question: has reading to your child brought back memories of the books you were read (or read yourself) as a child? It definitely has for me, and I selfishly admit I often choose classic books to read my girls, just so I can go down memory lane at the same time. Oh, and if you’re wondering, I loved Bedtime for Frances and The Berenstain Bears series, to name just a couple.
We all know that reading to your children is crucial. From increasing their aptitude for learning to improving speech and communication skills, being read to sets them on a course for success. But what about the books themselves?
If you’re in NYC anytime soon, I encourage you to check out a wonderful exhibit at the main branch of the New York Public Library entitled, “The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter.” I visited not long ago and was completely moved by its depth and beauty.
At the heart of it, the exhibit aims to explain, “why children’s books are important: what and how they teach children, and what they reveal about the societies that produced them.” The answers to those questions are plentiful, but in short, children’s books are rarely as simple as they seem. They deserve to be read over and over again (even as adults!) to explore new meanings and discoveries.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who wrote The Little Prince, brings you into a whirlwind of childhood imagination, and in the process, gently hands you the deepest truths of existential philosophy. From the book: “Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” And here you thought this was a book just for kids.
Read again and re-discover some of those classic books from your childhood. I can bet you’ll discover all new reasons to love them!
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