Kids and reading

Illustrator Kelly Light writes a thoughtful essay about encouraging kids to read.  And how do you do that, without making it seem like an obligation?  She has a daughter, so her recommended reading is girl-oriented.  I should get myself together and compile a list of the boy-oriented books that shaped my childhood.

I’m lucky—I come from a family who reads for pleasure.  My dad used to take me along on his trips to the old public library in downtown Syracuse, New York.  This was one of Andy Carnegie’s beautiful libraries—in the 70s, the boneheaded decision was taken to move the books into a mall. The building is still there, but it’s offices now.  I could take you on a tour of that dear old place—from the bust of Marconi on the right as you entered, up the worn marble stairs to the plate-glass floors on the second storey.  The children’s books were on the first floor in the back.  It had tall windows and ceilings, and blue carpet.  That’s where I first read Yertle the Turtle.

Anyway, give Kelly’s post a read.

3 responses to “Kids and reading

  1. Well! I googled “Syracuse Public Library” “Montgomery Street” “glass floors” to see if my memory was accurate, and found your delightful blog. The glass floors were real! I grew up in Syracuse and am working on a post for my own blog about about my collection of old Syracuse post cards, so it was a great pleasure and relief to come across your entry. Your books sound good too! I’m going to check them out for my grandchildren.


    • Thanks, Kitty! I like to collect old postcards, too, but don’t have any from Syracuse. Can’t wait to see yours!


      • Hi John — I was glad to hear from you. The old-post-card blog post is up, complete with my memory of the library and its glass floors. (Was that common, do you think? Or just a weird touch? Or maybe some early form of recycling?)

        I’ve just ordered a copy of DIRT BOY, which looks hilarious. ~Kitty


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