Shower Power: Give a Book!

Kathryn Madeline Allen is the author of A Kiss Means I Love You (2012) and Show Me Happy (2015). She lives in Michigan, where she teaches and writes.

A Kiss Means I Love YouShow Me Happy







I love baby showers! The gifts are precious: itsy-bitsy booties, teeny-tiny jammies, onesies, blankies, bottles . . . and books.

As a children’s author and college professor, I’m happy to give books as gifts and to see them being given. Some shower invitations these days suggest, “One request that isn’t too hard, please give a book instead of a card.”

So here’s a baby shower gift book idea: Mem Fox’s Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever. I had the pleasure of hearing Fox discuss Reading Magic in person a while back and have recommended it to my children’s literature students ever since.

This week, I’ve reread it from a different perspective. Not as author. Not as professor, but as Grandma to two grandsons: a toddler and a newborn.

Reading Magic“The best time to start reading aloud to a baby is the day it is born,” Fox recommends. I quickly called my son after rereading this advice. Have you read to the baby yet? I asked (after all he’s almost two weeks old). It’s really important!

As Fox puts it, reading aloud “positively affects children’s brains, hearts, words, and futures.” In Reading Magic, she expands on each of these, telling why, when, how and what to read aloud. The book is divided into bite-size sections so busy parents (or grandparents, teachers and others) can easily read it and use the tips right away.

Which books do you like to give at baby showers?

Shower Power: Give a Book!