SIKESTON - If you haven't picked up a good book
lately, what are you waiting for?
"Reading can take you to the most amazing places,"
noted Ann Thompson, children's librarian at the
Sikeston Public Library.
And helping children come to that realization is what
National Children's Book Week is all about. The week
is celebrated each Nov. 12-18 in schools, libraries,
bookstores, clubs, private homes - anywhere there are
children and books. This year's theme is "Get Carried
Locally there are all kinds of things planned
including on Nov. 8 when Thompson will visit the Early
Childhood Education Center where she will read to the
She also invites young readers to the Sikeston Public
Library Nov. 17 when they will find all kinds of
activities planned with them in mind. From 10 a.m. to
3 p.m., the McAmis Community Room will be transformed
into an area where youngsters can participate in a
variety of book-related activity centers.
The main feature will be a visit from Bob Harder, a
storyteller from Mountain View, Ark. He will present
"Billy Button and the Storybook," in which he becomes
three different characters including Billy Button, a
little boy who shares his big imagination as he takes
his young audience through an imaginary forest to an
imaginary giant's house. There, they discover the
giant's story book which Billy reads and involves the
children. Show times are 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
"This celebration reflects the nourishment that kids
get from reading books," said Thompson. "Book Week is
a time to bring us together to share books with our
children and reflect, as adults, on our own love of
our favorite children's books. Mine is 'My Many
Colored Days,' by Dr. Seuss. It's a simple book that
reflects on every day life and what our moods are in
comparison to colors."
She pointed out libraries have come a long way from
year's past, now having everything from magazines to
videos to programing in addition to books. Thompson
said she wants young people to feel comfortable at the
library and at ease in sharing their thoughts with
"I want to be able to help them with the materials for
homework assignments and above all, I want them to
enjoy books and the knowledge and pleasure they can
draw from books," she said.
She urged parents to show their enthusiasm for reading
to their children, pointing out that children mimic
adults. She encouraged parents to introduce their
children to books at an early age. Children, she said,
develop a love for reading through illustrations as
well as the text being read to them.
"Reading to them is so rewarding, just watching their
face as you read to them and sharing in their
excitement," smiled Thompson. "How many times have
parents heard 'Can we read it again?' If they see you
reading they will do it too. I remember when my nephew
was very small, he would watch my father read the
paper. One day we caught him sitting in papa's
recliner holding the newspaper and he was only 2 or 3
For more information on National Children's Book Week
contact Thompson at 471-4140.