In honor of our November children’s book offer, I’d like to pay homage to those imaginative men and women who write children’s and early reader stories.
I suppose that it’s obvious to anyone who knows what I do for a living that I love to read; what’s less obvious, is that wasn’t always the case. When my grade 2 teacher (Mrs. Tom, God bless her) went to my mother and informed her that I was falling behind the other students with my language skills, my mother did what any good mom would do and took me to the library to choose a book. The deal she struck with me was this: however much I would read, she would read. So, if I read one sentence she would read one sentence, and one paragraph read by myself meant one paragraph read by her.
I can still remember that first book… Matilda, by Roald Dahl. That book (and my mom’s persistence of course) opened up a whole new world to me that grows stronger, broader, and more real by the day. Those authors—Roald Dahl, Robert Munsch, C. S. Lewis, James Herriot, J.R.R. Tolkien, Dr. Seuss, the brothers Grimm, Brian Jacques, Madeleine L’Engle—that were inspired to write stories for the younger generations, have given me a gift beyond measure (though not beyond words) and I am eternally grateful. To this day I have a soft spot for kids and young adult books that I cannot wait to share with my own children one day.
So, to all of those writers out there that write—wholly or in part—for junior readers, thank you. Thank you for sharing your stories about love, friendship, adventure, bravery, family, imaginary worlds and characters, faith, kindness, and so much more. You are helping to place a cornerstone that will be built up into a never ending love of reading in kids everywhere.
Tia Scarborough is a Project Manager with Word Alive Press. She is also an avid collector of antique books, a painter, a photographer, and a lover of all things canine. Originally from British Columbia, she now lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her husband and their dog.