Saturday, July 11, 2015

A Literate Spider and Generations of Bookworms

Saturday Spotlight Series #27
Many a child has become a “bookworm” due to the influence of a literate spider, a talking mouse, and a trumpeter swan named Louis. 

Heroes such as these have often sparked a lifelong love of books and reading. The power of children's literature should never be underestimated.

Today my “Saturday Spotlight” shines upon a well-known author, the importance of teaching a child to learn to love to read, and a book subscription company especially for little kids!

Happy Birthday, E.B. White

The well-known children's author E. B. White (1899 - 1985) was born 116 years ago today. His writing for adults is quite well known; he was an essayist for the New Yorker and revised The Elements of Style, by William S Strunk. He is perhaps most famous, however, for these three children's books:

E.B. White, Children's books, reading
(By the way, July 15th is “Prime Day” at, when lots of sales are offered. It might be a good time to sign up for Amazon Prime and order one of these classics. Just click on the title of the book you want, to see the current prices.)

The anniversary of White's birthday seems the perfect time to comment on the wonderful gift of children's literature he bestowed on all of us, the legacy he created with his writing, and the importance of encouraging kids to love to read.

Generations of enjoyment

Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little delighted me as a child. Many years later, reading these books to my own two children was a parental task I thoroughly enjoyed. The Trumpet of the Swan became a favorite of all three of ours as well! 

As an adult, I gained a whole new appreciation for these books as I relived the magic of the

world within them with my children. Copies of these hardbound books are still carefully stored in my 18 and 20-year-old children's bookshelves - too precious to be given away or boxed up; saved perhaps for yet another generation of readers. 

reading, children's books, E.B. White

Becoming a good reader is a valuable life skill

I think it might be safe to say that encouraging my children to love to read may have been the very best thing my husband and I have ever done for them. The more books a child reads, the better at reading they become. The better at reading a child becomes, the more academically successful they can be, and the easier many other things in life also become.

In addition to being a stepping stone for success, reading is an immensely pleasurable hobby. A person enjoying a good book is rarely bored or lonely. Teaching a young child about the pleasures of reading is a little like giving them a ticket to some happiness.  

It is never too early to introduce a child to books. 

“Children almost always hang onto things tighter than their parents think they will.” ― E.B. WhiteCharlotte's Web  
I believe that reading to a baby even before it has developed language skills is beneficial. Being held closely on your lap, and hearing the sound of your voice is comforting to an infant. Associating those feelings of security and the turning of the pages of a book with reading is the first step to becoming a reader. Reading habits can begin to form years before a child understands that the print on a page represents a story.

book, toddler, reading

Here are a few of the ways that my husband and I shared our love of reading with our children:

  • I began a habit of reading to my daughter and son daily, from the first day they each came home from the hospital after they were born. My husband and I read to them at nap time, every night at bedtime, and often throughout the day.  
  • We filled the bookshelves in our children's rooms with books, and we continue to this day to add to their book collections. 
  • Age-appropriate sturdy books were always available for my children's little hands to grasp and explore. They played with books as much as they played with any other toy.
  • It was a little embarrassing how large our library fines sometimes were. We used to visit not one but several libraries, and I would often get confused as to when and where each of the large stacks of books we checked out were due!
  • My husband and I are both avid readers, and I think seeing us enjoying time spent reading was a factor that contributed to my kids love of books as well.

The gift of a book

Have you heard of BookRoo? It is a relatively new children's book subscription service. Currently board books and picture books are what make up their inventory, although it would not surprise me if chapter books for older children were offered sometime in the future.

book subscription company

Bookroo contacted me, and asked if I would inform my readers about their company.  They offered me the opportunity to provide my readers with a $4 discount, which you will receive when you place an order after clicking here, but I am receiving no other compensation for this post.  I am just excited to tell you about Bookroo, because I am so very impressed by it. It is a company that shares my values regarding the importance of childhood reading! 

Like me, the owners of Bookroo believe that it is never to early to read to a child. A part of their mission statement reads:
“Our mission is to enable and empower parents to build their children's book collections in an affordable and exciting way through curated monthly book deliveries...”
Another reason I am impressed by Bookroo is that the company uses environmentally friendly (but very cute!) materials to package the books that they send out.  What child would not love to receive an adorable package in the mail sent just for them, and find two or three books of their very own inside? 

With subscription options of month-to-month, three-months or six-month available, there are pricing options to suit a variety of gifting situations. Parents or grandparents may choose the three-month or half-year option, and enjoy the fact that their gift will be spread out over multiple months. One or three-month subscriptions could be a good baby shower or birthday gift.

Even if you are not currently needing to buy a gift, Bookroo is worth a visit. The literary quotes scattered throughout their website are fun to read!

I encourage you to visit Bookroo and see what is offered there. 

Remember that a $4 discount will automatically be applied at checkout to whichever subscription you choose, if you place an order after clicking onto the Bookroo site from my blog. 

If you want to make a difference in the life of a child, teach them how fun it is to read!

reading, book, reading to kids

 What was your favorite book as a child?

This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!

In the spirit of full disclosure, this post contains Amazon and affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on an Amazon link, the price you pay will not be affected but I may receive some small compensation. All opinions expressed, however, are entirely honest and my own.


  1. Precious photos. Books are so amazing to unite families and help us all grow as people!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Lori - and I totally agree. There is nothing better than snuggle time with a child and a book!

  2. A wonderful post.
    Reading was the biggest and bestest gift my parents ever gave me. Education, entertainment, escape, comfort...

    1. I have said no to a lot of purchases for my children, but rarely (if ever) to a request for a book! I totally agree with your comment!

  3. Such a great post, Susan. My late father introduced me to the world of EB White and I simply cannot give away those books. They are treasures. My 16 month old nephew loves to read. When we visit he toddles over to his corner and plops down. We join him on the mat and he brings us book after book. His all tme fave has been the hard cover interactive (the "Eye" moves, the Queen waves and the tube doors open and shut) London book his parents bought in London before he was born. It was so well loved that it fell apart and good friends bought another copy when they were last there. Phewf. My son and my mom are my go to people for books. They always manage to unearth gems.
    And may I say I adore that photo of your daughter in the box. So cute.

    1. Sounds like your family has generations of readers also Kelly! Glad the London book was able to be replaced!!

  4. Some of my favorite books! Reading to my kids was the best part of my day when they were little, and I still have many of their books. What a great service Bookroo is - thanks for sharing it!

    1. One of the thing I loved about becoming a parent was that it offered me an opportunity (and an excuse!) to reread all of my favorite childhood books!

  5. Awwww love the old photos Susan!! Great quote from Charlotte's Web. I have so many favorite books from hard to narrow it down!! I am so thankful that my parents instilled in me a love of reading!! Had never heard of Bookroo...will check it out!

    1. I think you will be impressed by Bookroo Katie - I certainly am! It is cool how the love of reading can be passed from parent to child, isn't it?!

  6. I loved Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web, but hadn't heard of the third one. Besides those I loved The Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys...the list is endless! My all time favorite are Laura Ingalls Wilder &. Judy Blume, Are You There God, It's Me Margaret. It's a family tradition me, my daughter, my niece and we have it ready for Izzy. Both of my kids love to read, my son read Goosebumps, Harry Potter, car magazines and comic books.

    1. The Trumpet of the Swan wasn't published until the 70's Rena - you will read it this time, with your grandkids! I handed down a lot of books to my kids as well - some even ones that were from my parent's childhood!


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