This Christmas, my son got a pretty darn good selection of toys, including a terrific train set that he loves. In the few days past Christmas, however, I’ve noticed that one other of his new acquisitions, the v.Tech Ereader, is getting a lot of his attention as well. I consider it a win if they get equal billing.
Especially after viewing this video:[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sv4Hpz-GI3g[/youtube]
(in case the link doesn’t work, click here.)
Yes, his outrage was amusing, but as a writer and a parent, I cringed at the idea that a child would think books were “Poo” for any reason. So when my son repeatedly picks up his ereader, just like Mama, and spends a good twenty minutes each time reading it, playing with it, and wanting to open another book to read on it, I’m happy.
I read some time ago that a large influence of what makes children want to read isn’t so much the reading we do with them (though it’s important), but it’s also their observations of how much we read and how much we enjoy reading. My son sees a book or my Kindle in my hands whenever I can carve out a few minutes — and many times, he’s enjoyed sitting next to me and waiting for me to tell him “next” so he can click the “next” button on the Kindle. He has liked being a part of an experience he can tell I enjoy. And it’s definitely a natural sight for him.
For children being raised on computers, phones, video games and everything electronic, an ereader is a perfect blend of building both worlds. I’m a big believer in getting him to love reading no matter how it happens. If that means getting him animated books, or standing on my head and reciting The Little Engine That Could, I’m happy to do so. He loves visiting the Disney or PBS websites where he can view animated stories of his favorite characters.
The v.Tech eReader is a terrific little device. It gives him an animated book that highlights words as they are read to him. There are reading games that relate to word choices, grammar and more. And it’s something he can “do himself” which is very big in his world these days.
We still read good, old-fashioned books — almost every night, in fact. I love that time with him. I love hearing him sound out words. And I love when he brings a book to me and asks me to read it to him. It’s music to my ears.
So when the eReader he got for Christmas gets equal playtime as the cool train set, I consider it a great cap on the year. What about the younguns in your life? Are you seeing any of them migrate toward computer or digital books? Are they readers?
And since next Monday will be into the 2011 year, I’ll take a moment to wish you all a very Happy New Year holiday. I can’t thank you enough for being a part of our community. The community among writers is one of the reasons I love being one.