Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Opinion

March 4, 2013

TIdbits: Go on an adventure this month

CROSSVILLE — “You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”

Those words penned by Dr. Seuss, writer, poet and cartoonist who wrote 46 children’s book during his career, are the inspiration behind Read Across America Day.

Unfortunately, this past Read Across America Day, March 1, was not a school day as snow and severe winter weather threatened our roadways and led to using a cherished snow day Friday. I’m sure, though, all the kids took a few minutes to put away their gadgets and games and get lost in a good book. If not, it’s not too late to get in on the fun because National Reading Month continues all through March!

Parents, it’s a great opportunity to share some of your favorite authors with your kids, help build literacy skills and give a gift that will last a lifetime — a love of reading. Pull out those great Dr. Seuss volumes of Horton Hears a Who!, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Cat in the Hat, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish and more. Watch their eyes get wide as they see the Cat in the Hat get Sally and her brother into all kinds of mischief, reading along with the 236 distinct words and colorful drawings.

Seuss wrote the Cat in the Hat as an example of what reading could offer young readers that classroom primers at the time did not. He had talked about the boring reading that featured kids that never got dirty, never did anything they weren’t supposed to do and never, ever got in trouble. He proposed brighter, livelier books with strange and wonderful animals and children who sometimes might misbehave. He was challenged to write a story that first-grade students couldn’t put down, and given a list of 348 words every six year old should know to use. Nine months later, he accomplished the literary feat, telling a fun and entertaining story with a tiny vocabulary.

It was a hit. And it spawned several more stories featuring the cheerful cat that inevitably brings chaos in his wake. It also launched a series of beginner books, with favorites that includes Green Eggs and Ham and Hop on Pop.

That series also included other popular children’s authors, like Stan and Jan Berestain who penned The Berenstain Bears series.

These were my sister’s and my favorite books as children. She had an entire shelf on her bookcase devoted to the Berenstain Bears and would usually share with me, once I could read on my own. Mom and Dad liked the books because they could usually find one that would speak to a particular behavioral issue — like a baby sister that might make an older sibling feel jealous, a messy room or a schoolyard bully.

And, of course, there’s Shel Silverstein’s quirky poetry. I’m a huge fan. I have been since I was first introduced to the poet and illustrator in the sixth grade, but you certainly don’t have to wait that long to introduce a new generation of fans to the late author. He published Where the Sidewalk Ends in 1874, a delightful collection of poems that feeds the imagination. And, in my opinion, there is no story more heart touching than The Giving Tree. Give it to a new parent and watch them well up with tears.

All of these authors touched my life and challenged my perceptions about the world around me. They built imagination and they let me have adventures with Cats in Hats and elephants and bears and even a Yipiyuk!

You can have those adventures, too, even on a snowy, blustery day, just by picking up a book and reading. The Art Circle Library is back open after reorganizing the collection. There, you can find all kinds of great books for your young readers. Stop by the adult section, as well, and pick up your own adventure this month.

• • •

Heather Mullinix is assistant editor of the Crossville Chronicle. She may be reached at hmullinix@crossville-chronicle.com.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • We the People: The last dance

    Charlie Hayden’s last recording session with his early partner, Keith Jarrett, was in 2007.  The songs they played were mostly melancholy.  The second album coming from that session includes Weil’s “My Ship” and Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” The dark ballad “Goodbye,” by Gordon Jenkins, was the final track.

    July 22, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Living in a pressure cooker

    The Gaza Strip, a small Palestinian territory about the size of Washington, D.C., has been in the news almost every day.  Its key location at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea has attracted a number of occupying powers over the years, and it has  been at the center of much Middle East history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: The excitement of election day

    On March 12, 1996, there were 427,183 votes cast in the presidential primary election. Among those votes was mine, the first vote I cast in an election, just two days after my 18th birthday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Raising the minimum wage

    My first job from which FICA was withheld was a minimum wage job, seventy-five cents an hour. And yes, even then no one could live on that little money. However, I was a high schooler living at home where my father provided room and board. The job gave me pocket money to buy gasoline, to take my girlfriend out for movies and burgers, and to buy tickets for baseball games.

    July 21, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Children on the move

    The news this past week has focused on the humanitarian crisis developing on our southern border. Thousands of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras seeking to escape from the violence, human trafficking and extreme poverty in their countries have been entering the United States.

    July 15, 2014

  • We the People: Memo to gun rights groups

    The recent incident in California helps us understand why we cannot rely on mental health services alone to solve the problem of gun violence.

    July 15, 2014

  • Tidbits: Make the best of your road trip

    I didn’t care for road trips when I was young. It was so confining to have to sit in the back seat, staring out the window for hour after hour, hayfield after hayfield. And when you’re a kid, time doesn’t pass like it does when you get a little older. Just the trip from Jamestown, TN, to Crossville, roughly 30 miles, felt like an eternity!

    July 14, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Biased climate agenda will cost trillions

    For anyone who has been educated in the history of science and scientific method, this whole issue of “Global Warming” or “Climate Change” is an embarrassing and painful exercise.

    July 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Time for an oil change

    The land of Iraq, earlier known as Mesopotamia, has a long history going back to Neanderthal times some 60,000 years ago. Later, around 10,000 years ago, it became the site for some of the most important developments in human history: the invention of the wheel, planting of cereal crops, the development of cursive script, mathematics, astronomy and agriculture. Today it is recognized as one of the cradles of civilization.

    July 8, 2014

  • We the People: American women, be informed and vote

    Voting for today’s Republican Party and its Tea Party members, means you are voting against more than most realize.  This is especially true for women.

    July 8, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014