For the first time in my career, I can finally reap the one great benefit of my job — FREE BOOKS. I was formerly an editor at a major children’s publishing company, and I’m currently an education producer at a public television station working on early childhood literacy issues — which means that even though I may be clueless in all other aspects of motherhood, there is one thing that I can provide to Baby Z in abundance: BOOKS! (And through books, hopefully a love of reading and learning.) J and I are both avid readers, although our preferred formats differ – he prefers to do his reading online and I’m a traditional turn-the-page-down-to-mark-my-spot type of gal. Evenings in our home are fairly quiet because they’re our mutual reading time. (Although it’s not-so-quiet lately because it’s football season *long suffering sigh*.)
I don’t have many expectations for Baby Z, but I truly hope that he will inherit his parents’ love of reading…especially since his mama has been diligently putting together his own personal library for the past ten years! To be honest, even if I did not have to read children’s books for my job, I would probably do so anyway because I love them so much. People tend to think that there is nothing to writing/illustrating children’s books – that anyone can write them – but they cannot be more wrong. Think of some of your favorite classic children’s tales and you intuitively know that a good children’s book is much more than a few clever sentences or colorful scribbles on a page. A good book transports you to new places, fuels your imagination, imparts important lessons and lingers in your mind long after the last page has been turned. Having read many, many children’s books and met many children’s book authors in my career, I can honestly say that while it’s true – anyone can write a children’s book – not everyone should write a children’s book. It takes a special author who has the right touch of storytelling and magic to make a story come alive. Lord knows that I’ve tried (and failed) at it more than a few times! Which is why those who can’t write…edit!
In any case, I digress. I really can’t wait to start reading and sharing some of my favorite books with Baby Z, starting with Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say, a beautiful (and beautifully illustrated) story about one immigrant’s love for two countries…not unlike the story of Baby Z’s mama.
Baby Z, hurry up and come get on my lap already!