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MANN: Taking the world by storm with a book in your hand

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September 13, 2018 - 12:00 PM

 


OPINION


Today is National Positive Thinking Day and Roald Dahl Day. Tucked right in between Chocolate Milkshake Day and Hug your Hound Day.

Seriously, who comes up with this stuff?

I for one love a random reason, person, place or thing to celebrate.

And that includes Roald Dahl and positive thinking.

I am quite familiar with Dahl.

I can still see the spot in my mind, on the library shelf at my old elementary school, where Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda sat — just waiting to be read.

I can remember cheering on Fantastic Mr. Fox during his quest to feed his family and friends, and being very afraid of the Twits.

I wanted to win my golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and try a piece of gum that would include a three-course meal. (I might be getting the book and the movie mixed up here.)

I haven’t tried to go back and read any of Dahl’s books as an adult. I’m not sure I want to ruin a good thing.

Luckily, my daughter loves books — so far.

She has caught the word bug, and insists on at least three books each night.

Sometimes it is the same book three times, which I find fascinating.

Kids really seem to value repetition, and each time we read a book through, I can see her understanding something new, or finding something different to comment on or question.

And she calls me out when I read something wrong.

Sometimes I’m tired, and those long passages are just asking to be summarized, but I have a very smart little kiddo who can tell when I am skipping over parts.

Her books of choice at the moment are the Berenstain Bears and Little Critter series.

I can’t complain. There are a lot of kids’ books out there I HATE reading, and neither the Berenstain Bears or a half-naked I have no idea what he is are one of them.

The Berenstain Bears are just a regular family living in their treehouse and wearing the EXACT same clothes day in and day out. But who am I to judge really.

Despite their interesting wardrobe choices, they are just trying to live this life honestly and teach their cubs how to be good people — sounds pretty safe. And probably what most of us want for our own kids. 

I of course am familiar with their lessons around too much TV and how to handle bad dreams, but I see even the Berenstain Bears have adjusted to our ever-changing world, tackling issues like Internet addiction and dealing with gossip.

All jokes aside, I know how important reading is, not just for the enjoyment of reading itself, but to develop language, instil values and allow for bonding time.

Reading can take you somewhere you never thought you could find yourself — lost amongst the land of the unicorns or into outer space for the afternoon.

Sept. 13 doesn’t have to be a day just for Roald Dahl and all the interesting creatures he brought to life, but a day to simply get excited for our kids about reading.

— Becky Mann is a 30-something, red haired, mother of two, trying to navigate this life as best she can. She enjoys talking to people and discovering their stories. Still trying to balance her personal and professional life, she juggles work and play. In her spare time Becky can be found visiting with friends, spending time with her family and saving time by reading while walking, She knows there is so much more to come and is looking forward to the continued adventure.


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