One of my greatest joys as a grandmother has been to introduce my grandchildren to the joys of reading. I have given them books as gifts from the time they could barely hold board books in their hands or enjoy the tactile fun of "Pat the Bunny." I have developed a little Oma's Library at my house by buying books that I knew I would enjoy reading over and over and over to them, and never get bored. These reading-together times are special moments I have shared with all the grandchildren.
And one of my deep pleasures as a friend has been to see my friends' children growing up to do wonderful things -- like writing books. I first met my friend Sue in a New York City playground with our two-year-olds, my Jenny and her Katie. After Sue's family, and then ours, moved away from New York we didn't see much of each other for many years, until we both moved back to the New York area. My next connection with Katie came when she wrote and illustrated the wonderful picture book "Who Hops?" Of course I had to buy it for the grandchildren. We read it over and over again. Even before the grandkids could read they were able to memorize its hypnotic rhythms and enjoy its vivid colors. And I could keep enjoying the jokes that may have gone over the children's heads.
Then I discovered another book of Katie's, which became another family favorite. "I Hate to Go to Bed" so exactly mirrors the feelings of little people who are convinced that if they go to bed while others are awake, they'll be missing all kinds of wonderful events. Again, a hypnotic refrain and marvelous pictures.
And "Mabel the Tooth Fairy and How She Got Her Job" gave us lots of laughs and lots of good conversations about teeth, and when Nina lost her tooth last week, who else but Mabel came and visited with tooth money and even signed her name.
There were more delightful books. But now my grandchildren are growing up. They want to read to me -- or by themselves. And just in time, Katie has written a wonderful "chapter book" for 9-to-14's about a sixth grader with problems with math, her best friend, the death of her father, and her mom's new boyfriend. Thanks, Katie, for bringing "The Curse of Addy McMahon" into Lisa's and Nina's lives.
Next time Lisa (12) and Nina (8) come to visit, one of our activities will be going to Katie's wonderful website: www.katiedavis.com. We'll all have fun.
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