Did you know that May is “Get Caught Reading Month?” That’s a great goal for families, don’t you think?
Reading is a pastime I want to encourage in my children. But it is also one I actively cultivate in myself.
As we take a break from most of our school subjects during the summer months, we have more time to devote to reading. And we’re free to explore books and subjects that interest us but that we haven’t time for during the school year.
While I’ve read lots of great novels aloud to my children, non-fiction titles have always been the mainstay of my personal reading. But I’m challenging myself to read more fiction this summer, even when I’m just reading for my own pleasure.
My husband convinced me years ago that reading fiction is good for you. And, just as he predicted, I’ve benefited in significant and surprising ways when I devote time to doing so.
That’s the gist of the poem I’m sharing today:
I Opened a Book
I opened a book and in I strode.
Now nobody can find me.
I’ve left my chair, my house, my road,
My town and my world behind me.
I’m wearing the cloak, I’ve slipped on the ring,
I’ve swallowed the magic potion.
I’ve fought with a dragon, dined with a king
And dived in a bottomless ocean.
I opened a book and made some friends.
I shared their tears and laughter
And followed their road with its bumps and bends
To the happily ever after.
I finished my book and out I came.
The cloak can no longer hide me.
My chair and my house are just the same,
But I have a book inside me.
– Julia Donaldson
Isn’t that lovely? I’m hoping the kids and I will have a lot of new books inside us by summer’s end. And if I get my way, we’ll have this poem inside, as well.
That’s why I created the pretty printable above. I plan to use it in committing the poem to memory this summer, together with my children.
More Resources for Readers
Interested in finding other ways to motivate your children to spend more of their free time reading? Check out these posts:
- Reading Challenge for All Ages – Race to see who can mark the most books off this A-Z topical listing! I’ve included short descriptions of some of our family’s favorites in each category.
- 2019 Reading Rewards Programs for Kids – Newly updated link list! I’ve included summer reading clubs, as well as incentive programs that run during the school year.
- 25 Ways to Encourage Literacy – Want to raise a bunch of bookworms? Try these tips for getting your kids excited about books.
- 9 Things We Learn Reading Fiction – Some life lessons can be communicated through storytelling more effectively than through any other means.
- Ditching Digital Devices in Favor of Reading – Our family used this time chart when our children were younger to encourage reading and limit time spent on electronic media. (You may want to adjust the time ratios for older kids.)