Guest Post by Author Gail C. Goldberg
I was thinking this morning as I walked my dogs about the joy of being read to.
The comfort of hearing words spoken by someone else and the easy feeling of love and healing coming through them is so powerful.
Remember the last time you were read to?
Maybe it was a long time ago, or maybe it was yesterday in your place of worship.
Those comforting words coming from the voice of another helped your body and mind relax, if only for a few minutes.
I’m a retired early childhood teacher who spent over 30 years reading aloud to young children.
I’ll never forget the joy I received while reading a chapter a day to my second graders from The Wizard of Oz. We discovered characters that were not in the book like the giant spider and the thrill of being scared to death by another teacher who jumped in the room to startle us right when the spider was becoming a threat. We all screamed and laughed and had such a good he-haw over that moment.
Early literacy begins in the womb when the fetus is developing and he/she hears their mother’s voice for the first time. There are many articles written proving that poetry, nursery rhymes and lullabies are what infants want to hear.
In fact, poetry has a place for all ages.
But we don’t often think about the healing and comforting power of being held and being read to at the same time.
My school children snuggled as close as they could get to me when we had our reading time each day after lunch. They would scrunch into their friends and settle down into a state of mind that showed healing was taking place as we all drifted from our current states, no matter what they were, into the poetry or story that took us away to another land.
Recently, I wrote a book for young children that supports my beliefs in the healing power of reading to a child. It’s called Animals A-Z: Poems for Early Readers.
I wrote the poems with eight perfect lines of poetry that could be easily sung to tunes.
In fact, my 8-year-old neighbor made up a tune to go along with “Kangie Kangaroo” and she also danced to the poem.
While I was writing the book, my young friend would come and sit beside me on my sofa and we would go through the poems together as she snuggled into me and we went into “Anty Ant’s” world where “She is small but strong. She works hard all day long.”
We both enjoy hearing from the Turtle, “He digs in the ground and sleeps until spring. Turtie wakes up when the red robin sings.”
I listened to my “advisor” and made any changes she suggested.
I believe in children’s wisdom.
The illustrations in my book are bold and bright acrylic paintings that look great on a child’s wall. The “giant” ones make great teaching tools for a classroom or media center with the book as the heart of the work.
As far as healing goes, think back to the last time you actually heard a human voice taking the time to read to you and you will remember that warm, healing, and cozy feeling that can only be had in this special way.
I am available for book readings of Animals A-Z: Poems for Early Readers at schools around our community. You can get the book online at http://amzn.to/15Lazxc or you can buy it from me when I come to read it to your class or group of parents.
Also, the giant prints are available through me at email@example.com. They are $15 each and a good bargain at that! They are from my original paintings from the book and turned out great in this format of the painting on the top and the poem underneath.
A good way to see all of the items is to have me come do a reading of the book where I use the book and the giant prints as teaching tools. I’m going to start taking a rocking chair with me or a small chair so I can be on the same level as the children when I read to them.
Note from Catherine Carrigan: What is healing? Healing happens when we spend time with those we love. There’s nothing like reading a bedtime story with a small child! Gail Goldberg has put her heart and soul into creating a children’s book to share her love of reading. Gail is a local Roswell author who has dedicated her life’s work to children. You can reach Gail to come and have her read to your group at 404-219-0529.