Today is D.E.A.R. Day!
This national celebration to “Drop Everything And Read” falls on Beverly Cleary’s birthday and it couldn’t have chosen a better spokesperson than the author’s own Ramona Quimby.
I’ve loved reading for as long as I could remember. I was fortunate enough to grow up with books. I remember owning Little Golden Books when I was a young boy in the Philippines. “Richard Scarry’s Best Storybook Ever!” was a present I got one Christmas in San Francisco. I definitely picked up a few Beverly Cleary books along the way. “The Mouse and the Motorcycle” series were my favorite.
It wasn’t at all difficult to get me to read. But, that’s not the case for a lot of people. Maybe they struggle to read. Maybe they haven’t found the right book. Maybe they don’t live in an environment where reading is encouraged.
Fortunately, there are campaigns like D.E.A.R. and Read Across America to promote reading- not just as a solitary act, but as a family, as a classroom, and as a community. Thirty minutes a day is all it takes. That’s giving up watching the episode of “Friends” you’ve seen a hundred times already in syndication. Thirty minutes a day, every day, is all it takes to be a lifelong reader.
As Ramona Quimby says, “Everyone can participate- all you need is a book!” So, anywhere, anytime, I hope you’ll Drop Everything And Read!
My birthday’s coming up. As I’ve grown older, I’ve found giving to be as enjoyable as receiving. Don’t get me wrong, I still love presents. And I love books. And I love reading. And it’s been my focus lately to promote literacy, especially in children’s lives. With this blog, I figured I can kill many birds with one stone- or tackle multiple passions with one post, to be less graphic.
All April, for every comment I receive on “The Chronicles Of A Children’s Book Writer,” I will donate a book to The Children’s Book Bank. Since this is a new blog with very little readership (and as a thank you, really, to everyone who’s been supportive of my dreams), I’m going to include all previous comments made in the count. Already, that’s five books that will be going to students of low-income neighborhoods!