.... The first thing is to read aloud to children—and to continue oral readings long beyond the ages of seven or eight, so long as the children continue to enjoy group-reading. Thus children’s vocabularies and comprehension are built up well before those children are able to unravel for themselves the mystery of transforming abstract letters on a printed page into mental images. Besides this, one ought to give books to children as presents, show interest in whatever they are reading, and talk about one’s own favorite books with boys and girls. ....What Should Children Read? | Crisis Magazine
Were you to inquire of me what author of children’s literature moves me most as an adult, I would tell you, “George MacDonald.” He immensely influenced G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis, among many others. Don’t fail to give your children At the Back of the North Wind, The Princess and the Goblin, The Princess and Curdie, The Golden Key, and MacDonald’s other books for the young, all of which also teach adults.
Were the question put to me, ‘What children’s author of our century has had the healthiest influence upon the rising generation?” I should tell you, “C.S. Lewis.” Get his Chronicles of Narnia, seven volumes, beginning with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and ending with The Last Battle. These make up a children’s parable of the Christian understanding of the human condition. ....
.... Our daughters’ favorite book, I find, is Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden—which I never encountered until my own little girls introduced me to that convincing tale of pathos and triumph in the policies of an English country house. It is written with strong tenderness, and it teaches us how to rise above our vices, especially the ugly vice of self-pity. ....
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
"The first thing is to read aloud..."
Crisis Magazine reprints Russell Kirk's 1979 essay, "What Should Children Read?," from which: