Skip to main content

A Quote Worth Sharing About the Value of Reading to Your Children (not that you need it...)


"Your instincts as parents are correct: a minute spent reading to your kids now will repay itself a million-fold later, not only because they love you for reading to them, but also because, years later, when they’re miles away, those quiet evenings, when you were tucked in with them, everything quiet but the sound of the page-turns, will, seem to you, I promise, sacred." 
- George Saunders

Thank you to Bottom Shelf Books: Picture Books from a Somewhat Grown-Up Perspective for sharing this quote from the bestselling author of Tenth of December: Stories, among others, and for introducing me to a fantastic blog. Saunders wrote a guest post in 2007 at Jenny Rosentrach's food blog Dinner, A Love Story: It All Begins at the Family Table. Although he admitted his kids are grown now, Saunders talked about kid's books he and his girls loved. Dinner, A Love Story: It All Begins at the Family Table is also the name of Jenny's cookbook (and more) that comes out in paperback this May. I was thrilled to discover that Jenny's blog also happens to be a great resource for some very cool kids books, beyond those suggested by Saunders, with reviews of titles she is reading to or with her own kids. 

Saunders is the author of ONE children's book, The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip, which is illustrated by the brilliant Lane Smith, and was published in 2000. In 2000, Saunder's Pastoralia had come out to very good reviews and his previous book, CivilWarLand in Decline was what all the cool kids/booksellers/literati were reading and talking about. So, of course I nabbed a (signed - don't ask me how) copy of The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip when I had the chance. I know I read it but I don't remember it... I thought about reviewing it on my blog, but never got around to it. I was thrilled to learn that McSweeney's released a paperback version of The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip in 2006. So, look for my review of The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip here soon! Until then, here are some illustrations from the book to enjoy and I hope you will click the link and check out Saunder's kid's book recommendations as well as spend a little time perusing Jenny Rosentrach's blog which made my stomach growl so much I have to stop writing and eat breakfast...


Minh said…
Thanks--I stumbled across that quote and couldn't help sharing (once I managed to choke back a tear of course).
Tanya said…
Agreed! It's nice to think that something we do that benefits our kids is also really meaningful and fulfilling for us as parents.

Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…