Janie McQueen, author of The New Magic Bookshelf: Finding Great Books Your Child Will Treasure Forever sent me an excerpt of her book (from Chapter 6, Book-Lovers From Babyhood) to share…
Any new parent knows that media and medical community reports are teeming with hot information about how babies’ brains are wired and influenced by their surroundings, and how synapses (brain connections) made within the first months of life are strengthened in proportion to infants’ exposure to new experiences.
Newsweek reports that fueling the neuroscience frenzy, “educational,” often electronic, products from companies like Baby Einstein, Brainy Baby, Baby Prodigy and Baby Genius now represent about a $20 billion a year industry. “Instead of Mandarin lessons, researchers now say parents would be better off spending more time talking, singing, reading and playing with their babies and toddlers. No special equipment is required,” notes the article’s author, Barbara Kantrowitz.
This more effective “affectionate interaction” can be better accomplished through baby-level introduction to the fundamental cultural blocks—literature, art and music—in simple, natural forms. In fact, children’s author Maurice Sendak credits the physical closeness of sitting on his father’s lap during reading with starting his lifelong love of literature. That physical connection can easily translate your affection for reading to your child.
Janie’s book is available for purchase from Amazon.com. Janie is also expecting twins herself – a boy and a girl due in December, which will bring her kid count up to four like me! You can find Janie over at MagicBookshelfOnline.com.