Thursday, September 19, 2013

Beauty of Reading to a Child

Donna Tartt’s article, “On Barrie and Stevenson,” is a beautiful testimony on the impact of lovingly reading with a child (follow the link and then you can search the document for her name).
Tartt describes the special relationship she had with her great-grandmother with whom she shared the rich of adventures of reading. Tartt writes,
I marvel now at the way she used to read to me—eight hours at a stretch sometimes, whole books in a day, her voice growing hoarse as the shadows lengthened and the room darkened and I sat alongside her in her bedroom listening to her every syllable with desperate attention, dreading the ring of the telephone in the next room (which of course would be my mother, to summon me home to dinner). We read everything—

Tarrt also describes how she loved her great-grandmother’s voice:
a particular lilt crept into my great-grandmother’s voice when she sang and when she read to me aloud. It was dreamy and gorgeous to my ear, this special voice of hers, the very stuff of warmth and love; it was, I believed, peculiar to her alone of all the world, a voice which, like a cat’s purr, was specific to hearth and home, reserved for her dearest ones. Not until I was older—and, rather to my shock, heard the private lullaby voice being spoken in public by a perfect stranger on a television program—did I realize that the beloved musicality which for many years I’d confidently believed was mine alone was in fact a Scots accent.
You’ll have to read the article to discover how a woman who grew up in Mississippi had a (true) Scottish accent!

This article was a wonderful reminder to me of the amazing, rich opportunity I have in reading with my children. Mutually shared and enjoyed stories shape and enrich life. I don’t want to miss out on that.


At 3:52 AM, Blogger The Jones Family said...

Thank you. Books and great grandmothers are two of my favorite things. I enjoyed Tartt's words very much.

Do you think 5:51 AM is too early to wake my 4 year old and begin reading Peter Pan?

At 11:59 AM, Blogger Ray Van Neste said...

I'm glad it was encouraging! I bet you'll have plenty of opportunity one your 4 yr old wakes up!


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