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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Organizers hope to spark reading surge

Monday, November 5, 2001

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

Away...Read."

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

children.

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

her.

"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

years old."

For more information on National Children's Book Week

contact Thompson at 471-4140.