Tish Rabe

                                         Best-selling Children’s Book Author

 

“When You Read and Sing - It’s a Beautiful Thing!”

 

When you’re a mom, there are few moments more precious than when you can sit down and share a book with your child. The fun of picking which book, snuggling down together, hearing the words, seeing the pictures and wondering “What’s going to happen next?” are simply magical. What is sometimes easy to forget is that the time you take reading to your little ones is not only fun for all of you but it will also help them become better readers and writers and pave the way for their lasting success in school.

 

I recently became an Advisory Board member for a national non-profit organization called Reach Out and Read that gives free books to children from low-income families. What sets Reach Out and Read apart is that these books are given to the children by their pediatricians who prescribe “twenty minutes of reading a day.” These passionate, dedicated doctors believe that reading to your children is just as important to their healthy development as good food and exercise. What they came to realize, however, is that some of the caregivers who were receiving the books were struggling with reading themselves.  

 

Reach Out and Read asked me if I could write a simple, rhyming board book with just a few words on each page that would encourage these caregivers to read to their children. I created a new book Love You, Hug You, Read to You! that does just that and a Spanish-English version “Te amo, te abrazo, leo contigo”.  I knew that studies have shown that asking your children questions while you read helps them learn to read faster than if they just sit and listen to a story so I added simple questions on each page like, “What is the Mama Cat doing?” and “What is the little kitten thinking?”  Last week, at one of my school author visits, a little girl waved her hand and said “She’s thinking how much her mommy loves her!” Well, there you go.

 

Another thing I encourage moms to do is to sing to their children as often as they can. Of course, we’re not all Taylor Swift or Beyonce, but what’s most important is that your children hear YOUR voice, the voice that has been whispering in their ears since the day they were born, and that they feel the warmth and tenderness of your love. One thing that’s fun to do is to make up a little song and sing your child’s name in it as often as you can.  My favorite is to take a nursery rhyme tune say, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and put in your own words.

 

Maria, Maria I love you

And I know you love me too.

Maria, Maria I hold you tight

I kiss you and I say “good night”

Maria, Maria I love you

And I know you love me too.

 

Reading and singing to your children are two of the most important things you can do for them and will create memories you both will cherish forever. In this busy world, spending that time together will forever stay in your hearts.

 

I invite you to view my new book “Love You, Hug You, Read to You!”  here. Have fun reading and singing!

 

-Tish