I know websites aren’t usually dedicated to someone, but the reason I started this one was to make it easier for parents to select books for their kids that were age appropriate and highly likely to be enjoyed. Not only did both my grandmothers help me become a life-long reader, but they helped hundreds of other kids learn to read and enjoy books as well. This website is dedicated (in loving memory) to them.
My maternal grandmother was a children’s librarian at an elementary school and she was my playmate, my best friend, and my world. She exposed me to hundreds and hundreds of children’s books as I was growing up, because it was her occupation to be surrounded by them. However, more than that, she herself was the living embodiment of children’s fantasy. She was a fairy, a wicked witch, a queen, a wizard, and a naughty elf all rolled into one. She lived and breathed fiction to the point that I was convinced she was magic. She made books so appealing that I couldn’t help but be driven to learn the magic skills she possessed. It was because of her that I was devouring full length chapter books, like Ramona the Pest, when other kids were seeing Spot run.
In contrast, my paternal grandmother owned about 6 books that she read to me thousands of times as I was growing up (Goodnight Moon, The Gingerbread Boy, Ten Apples up on Top, Millions of Cats, Panda Bear’s Paint Box, and Happy Birthday, Moon). I didn’t mind the repetition. I loved those books and even now, reading them brings back warm, cozy memories of cuddling up next to her in bed. It was from those books that I first realized I could read. Of course, I knew them by heart, but at a young age, I also realized that each word corresponded to one of the written words on the page. From that moment of realization, snuggled in her bed reading Happy Birthday, Moon, my life as a reader officially began. Not only did she help start me on my reading journey, but during retirement, she spent hundreds of hours volunteering to help young elementary students overcome their reading difficulties.
As you can see, I’m beyond fortunate to have had two such amazing women in my life. They may no longer walk this earth, but in their memory, I hope their legacy will continue.