Literacy and a love for books is something that I have always valued as a person. I can never have enough. I find this a challenge while in the classroom, because it is my first thought to have as many as possible. This can be overwhelming, especially for the youngest children I am with, so I allow myself a certain set that is always out and available. This is true even with my current group of infants.
Every so often the basket is brought off the shelf, either by me or a child and soon everyone is gathered around, flipping through the pages. This is an important early experience, because any early interaction with books gives he children important tools in learning book- ness.
Today H, E and Z enjoyed a long moment with the books. H had pulled them out first and was loudly banging them on the floor: Books can be held, manipulated and make a sound! Z watched H closely and lifted his own book to his mouth:Books are smooth, cool, solid. This gives me a chance to talk about being careful with books: "We can use them with our hands!" E's eyes grow wide as I open the page up to some yellow lines on a road. I point at the lines and say, "Yellow!" Books give us information. They show us new things. I open another book, orient it correctly before the boys and point again, naming what I see. H squeals in delight and begins to manipulate the pages.
All of these self discoveries are the seeds for a life long love of books. I am very thankful to our local library system for the support in early reading and the box of age appropriate books we receive every two months.