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So, it is a rainy day in DC and the last day of a holiday week-end. I just want to suggest that today (and everyday actually) is a good day to read. And by reading, I mean everything from reading by oneself to reading with and to others, especially children (although my partner and I often read to each other — I read more to him than the reverse in the interest of full disclosure).

Reading allows the imagination to roam. It enables learning and engagement, seeing the world from different perspectives. When reading with or to someone, it encourages engagement and connection, even if a child is falling fast asleep. Right now I have begun The Hidden Lives of Trees — amazing and enveloping. And, I will never see trees the same way again. Ever.

I worry about children who aren’t exposed to reading and for whom books are something one finds only in school or in a library, not a home. And, when parents get upset when children rip a book, then is not the time for anger but the time for book repair — and a repaired book works just fine.

And, one of my children’s books in now on indestructible paper — — really, there is such a thing. (We See You; Te Vemos) It is a replacement for the cloth books of my youth that you pop in a washing machine. An indestructible book can be wiped again and again; it won’t tear (although I have not tried it on our dog — see above). Yes, the one tearing a book.

Which gets me to this photo. I don’t believe in destroying books but I do write in them and bend pages (or highlight online). My father was always so angry when I wrote in books, thinking I was defacing them. No no no. I was adoring them and making them mine. I worry in schools where students cannot keep the books so they cannot write in them; they can’t attach to them. A pity really. Books that are worn or automatically open to key pages on their own are treasures. Some books have been read so often they are fraying. Those are good books. Yes, I read online too.

I like to say our dog is following in his mother’s footsteps: academics. His father says he is going to be a scholar, noting how he devours the Introduction. He did pick an excellent book to read, Tribe. If you have not read it, you should. It is all about community.

And, while on the dog, my next children’s book series is about this dog — Wrinkles is his name. Let’s just say his adventures are plentiful. It’s a series (Lady Lucy’s Quest is my current children’s series), and will be released in late 2020. Why the wait? Honest answer: I have another Lady Lucy book emerging in April 2020 (Lady Lucy’s Dinosaur Quest) and an adult book on trauma and how to address it in the educational system (Educating for Trauma published by Columbia Teachers College Press June 2020). And, I have a trauma word play book (will explain later) that can be used to start classes with kids when their autonomic nervous system in on high alert.

Wrinkles is far from patient. Neither am I. But his books will emerge and his love of reading and I hope the love of others in books will continue.

Back to reading.

Author, Educator & Commentator; Former President, Southern Vermont College; Former Senior Policy Advisor, US Dept. of Education; Former Law Professor

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