“Book” Your Child’s Trip Today!

A little over a week ago, I came upon some sad news as I skimmed the morning newspaper. Brian Jacques, author and creator of the beloved children’s book series “Redwall,” had died.

His stories told of the adventures of a group of mice, squirrels, and badgers who lived in an old English Abbey called Redwall. This unlikely group of miniature heroes were constantly called on to defend their home from a nasty bunch of rats, weasels and stoats who threatened to invade and destroy the happy kingdom in which they lived.

Long before Harry Potter transformed the world of children’s literature, Jacques’ 21 engrossing tales of good versus evil which were played out by such iconic figures as Mossflower and Martin the Warrior, captivated my sons for years.

They adored the Redwall books and spent many, many hours with their heads buried in them. I can’t think of a more perfect gift to set before a child looking for a marvelous story to occupy his mind and feed his imagination.

At MamasOnCall we’ve often talked about the enormous benefits of reading, both with, and to, your children. Many parents start off strong when their kids are babies but then as life goes on and the number of commitments and activities start to skyrocket, a lot of them forget about the importance of reading as a pastime. I want to encourage you NOT to.

If you develop the habit early and work to keep it a part of your child’s life it will serve him or her in ways that are too numerous to list. One of the best ways to do this is to model it yourself. I learned a great technique for this from the school my children attended. At various times throughout the day, a bell would ring that signaled Silent Sustained Reading (S.S.R.) time.

When it rang everyone in the school — students, teachers, and all other staff were to put down whatever they were doing and read! So everyone always had a book with them and the kids learned the joy of reading for fun. At home we started to do the same thing, minus the bell. But after dinner or whenever there was an opportunity we would go into S.S.R. time.

It was wonderful. I hope you will want to start the tradition yourself in your own family. I can guarantee you that you and your kids will never regret it.

Click here to connect with a great resource for children’s literature.

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Ellen W. Schrier, LCSW, is a family therapist and the mother of three adolescent/young adult kids.

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