We know it’s important to feed our children nutritious food, to provide exercise and fresh air and to nurture and love them. I would argue that it’s equally as important to read to them when they are small and encourage them to continue to read as they grow older. It is through reading that they will grow to be truly empathetic, compassionate human beings, because, as Joyce Carol Oates says, “Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.”
Would there be war, greed and intolerance if we could, indeed, slip into another’s skin?
I don’t think so.
And another quote by an unknown author. “I have never met a bigot who was a reader as a child.”
Neither have I.
(Photo credit: (Patricia Polacco)