Even at two years, old, my daughter loves reading. She has about 200 books that she picks through before selecting what she wants to read or have read to her. She can’t yet read, but she tells the story in her toddler language as she turns the pages. Some are clearly below her level now – picture books with no text, some are clearly beyond her – lots of text and not as exciting pictures. The books with flaps remain a favorite. We talk about what the pictures show and what is happening in the story. The exciting aspect as her mom is that she is choosing to read. She likes books as much as she likes her little people or her trucks or her balls. In fact, books are one of her first choices for what to play with as soon as she wakes up in the morning, after nap and before bed. When she picks a book that is not yet appropriate for her, I take it but not before promising that she can read it when she is bigger and providing an alternative. That is what I think my role as parent is – to guide her towards reading, let her choose what she wants to read by providing a varied selection. Redirecting her to better choices and discussing what she is reading.
The love of reading and value of freedom to select what to read is partly why I started the Fight Censorship - Fund Books campaign. I want my daughter to grow up valuing books, valuing the written word and appreciating the power of books. Whatever a book may look like in 2025 when she is in high school, I hope censorship will be a historical note, not a modern reality.