Reading widens the world of children and adults. Exploring other places both real and imaginary enhances our knowledge and invites thinking creatively and critically. And almost nothing does more for family bonding than sitting together on a comfy couch or chair with one or more children and reading out loud together.
One of my favorite authors, Gladys Hunt, described the benefits and joys of reading with these words: With the creativity and imagination God has given human beings…well written words…give wings to the spirit. Every child ought to know the pleasure of words so well chosen that they awaken sensibility, great emotions, and understanding of truth. This is the magic of words—a touch of the supernatural, communication that ministers to the spirit.*
Here are two new books that you won’t read about in many other blogs or articles, but both are worthy additions to your family’s library because they discuss topics most parents don’t know how to address.
First is Flippers, A Story for Children Facing Suffering and Loss, by Asa Tittle. This story is very personal for me and many in our community because we know the backstory. A good friend of ours and one of my co-workers at FamilyLife was killed along with his two oldest daughters by a tornado in April of 2011, the same storm system that cut through Tuscaloosa Alabama two days later.
Left behind were his wife Kerry and their other seven children, including little Asa. This story tells of a platypus whose father had just died and how little Flippers processed the loss of his daddy. Even if your child hasn’t experienced this kind of grief, he will at some point in his life. Or he may know a friend in school or church who has lost someone important. Reading this book will help grow understanding. Kerry adds several pages for parents in the back of the book, lessons she’s learned first hand about grief. To order this book go to http://www.refinedfamily.org/flippers/.
Another friend of mine writes the second new book I’m recommending. It’s the story of her parents and is titled, Is Your Dad a Pirate? Tara Reeves tells the story of her dad returning from Vietnam having suffered the loss of one eye and an arm and how as a little girl she learned to understand his wounds were a badge of honor.
Today the sight of men and women and even children with artificial legs or other prosthesis is not as uncommon as it once was. Helping children understand the sacrifice and service of many who served our country in the military broadens their compassion and appreciation for others.
Summer is here and it’s a great time for reading as a family! Snuggle together on the couch and let the closeness begin! What’s on your reading list this summer?