Sunday, June 01, 2008
Reach your imagination to the sky: READ!
"How to raise a reader?" asked the Toronto Star. Well, here's the advice we gave the Star -- which happened, by the way, to be the paper Melanie first worked for.
Inspiration: Like Dinah, Melanie was pest-like as a kid, and got scolded for blitzing people with questions. Undeterred, Melanie found a career that encourages pests: newspaper reporting. Sleuth Dinah is Melanie's idea of a scrappy junior reporter. And, of an optimist. Look around life's corners, and you'll find adventure. As a student, Melanie was involved in theatre; enter Dinah, the red-hot (as well as red-haired) performer with the Judy Garland-like voice. Everyone has a well of life experience. Dinah is what Melanie draws from hers.
Advice for raising a reader:
* Do not shove children's lit at them. They'll grow into it. Let them read comics, cliffhangers, anything to get their minds thinking in book-ese. In learning another language, you start thinking in it; similarly, a person becoming literate starts thinking in a more a flowing, articulate way, with allusions.
* Show your kids that you read! They want to copy you (though they may not know it).
* Make libraries a regular outing, where you both come out staggering under the weight of many tomes.
Meanwhile, look at the lengths my friend Ailie Mooney goes to in promoting literacy.