Bounty of Book Resources Sparks Kids' Imaginations
Exposing children to reading through library events and trips to Canton bookstores helps open new worlds.
Despite their hush policies, libraries are actually filled with chatter. It takes a well-tuned ear, but if you love books – and believe in the power of their voices – then you should be able to hear them speaking to you as you negotiate the stacks at the Canton Public Library and aisles at local bookstores.
This internal sense can only be developed by one thing: reading. The earlier you begin to nurture this sense, the quicker you will develop it. I was encouraged from a young age to find fascination in books and to read as many of them as I could get my hands on. One of the first books I can remember getting was a used copy of Where The Sidewalk Ends, a book of zany poems by the late children's author Shel Silverstein.
My mom had purchased it somewhere for a dollar – I can still recall her saying it was the best dollar she ever spent – and I read it over and over. Sometimes I read it with my parents, others by myself, usually in bed with a flashlight. It stirred something inside me that I had no idea existed, something that is as much a part of me today as my DNA – my imagination.
My wife had similar experiences. Her father, a teacher, would tell her that reading 10,000 words daily would make her smarter. She read everything she could to cram in her daily dose of words, including the newspaper. I often come home to find her sitting with our daughter, reading the Canton Observer or even a Detroit Free Press that I left lying around. We both take great pride in our love of reading. Although our oldest daughter is only 2 ½ years old we can already see in her what we felt in ourselves long ago.
We began reading to her before she could even comprehend our words. We even read to her (and sang to her) while she was cradled in her mother's womb. She really enjoys reading, even if by herself. Just the other day, while we were on our way to the park, Emma saw the library and shouted "Daddy! I love the library!" as we passed it. She insisted on going in to get a book, so after we were finished playing, we spent some time at the Canton Public Library.
The Children's Corner at the Canton Public Library has something for kids of all ages. Aside from a bounty of books – the ones for pre-readers and beginners are rated with a colored dot, indicating the age-appropriate level of the book – computers, magazines, videos and a quiet play area with stuffed animals and puppets. It also has drop-in and scheduled time slots for reading sessions in the Purple Room, which parents can also attend. Check out Canton Patch's listing of library events for dates and times.
If you want to build up a personal home library for your children, there are numerous places throughout Canton to purchase new and used books. Border Books and Music is a great resource. Meijer, Walmart and Target all have reasonably sized book sections and the new Canton Goodwill store has shelves of used books, many of which are for children. I've also found garage sales are great places to find books, so keep an eye out this spring!
Sean Flynn's dispatches from the front lines of fatherhood in Canton appear here weekly.