TOPICS: Books for children

We, as parents, take our job seriously by making sure that our children eat healthy food and take proper rest.

We buy right size sneakers so that their feet will grow straight, and buy the right kind of cloth to make sure that they stay warm. But what about their minds? Are you feeding that endless curiosity that causes children’s mind to grow in a healthy way?

That’s where books are vital. Our society must provide all possible encouragement and opportunity for children to read books. Access to books is a necessary condition for becoming a good reader. Reading itself is the key to literacy.

No reasonable person could argue against learning to read. Learning to read is not just a matter of mastering a few simple skills, nor is literacy just a matter of passing a reading test. Learning to read must involve acquiring the reading habit. Literacy must be viewed as the regular exercise of reading skills through reading books.

The time-honored reasons why children should read books are now bolstered and supplemented by new research evidence that book reading can make a unique and powerful contribution to children’s reading development.

Books contain an endless source of knowledge and pleasure. If you teach your children to make reading a habit, you are handing down a special kind of magic to them -- a gift that will enrich their lives as nothing else can. You will discover some unexpected bonuses too.

The most important thing you can do to make your child a reader is to provide them with stories and poem books — the more the merrier. Easy availability of books for very young children makes them feel comfortable with books. Books become their friends.

The child sees the value of courage, honesty and loyalty played out in stories, and he is inspired to live true to those values when he shares stories, he builds memories about the warmth and joy in his early life that he will treasure forever.

You didn’t apply for the job, you don’t get paid one rupee to do it, it’s a 24-hours-a-day grind, you don’t get vacations from it and it lasts a lifetime. The job being a parent has a great pay-off. Although you don’t get paid in cash, the rewards in kind are unbeatable.

The rewards come from watching your children grow into loving, responsible human beings. Children have inquisitive minds that must be planted with positive seeds of thought to blossom and grow, bearing all the fruits of life.