What is Read Across America?
Created by the National Education Association in 1998, Read Across America is a national celebration of reading falling on March 2, Dr. Seuss’s birthday, each year. The idea is to celebrate reading and, more importantly, get kids excited about reading. Motivated readers mean better readers, better writers, better imaginations, and better students.
I’ve always had a good relationship with reading. I actually think it’s required if your mom is a teacher (hi, mom!). I remember summers spent picking out stacks of books from the library with my mom and two brothers. High school home rooms and bus rides filled with The Great Gatsby or To Kill a Mockingbird. Escaping to a new, exciting world is still one of my favorite things, and since with age and having a baby, I’ve become completely terrified of air travel, reading is a more comfortable way to do that. Safely, on the ground.
Now that I’m in the stage of my life where I’m having babies, I know that I want to instill that same love of reading onto them. Well, I can at least try. My son has my stubbornness, so maybe my love of reading will stick too? However, if my son had his way, we would “read” Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann every story time. Or Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton, it’s basically a tie between those two right now.
Some of my favorites to read to him are classics like Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper and, of course, anything by Dr. Seuss. He may not be at the age where he wants to sit and listen to one of these books in its entirety, and in fact, he doesn’t most of the time. He gets bored and picks out another book (Goodnight Gorilla) around the second or third page of The Lorax or Cat in the Hat. But, try again the next day and the day after that, because soon, I’m sure, he’ll come to appreciate the silliness and made-up language of the land of Dr. Seuss.
A few of our favorite Dr. Seuss books:
Fox in Socks
We have this in both the Bright & Early board book and full size. I would go ahead and just hide the full size from your kid. The board book is much easier to read and won’t leave you feeling like a blubbering dummy afterward.
Hop on Pop
We have the Bright & Early board book of this one too, and it’s the perfect thing to bring with us on car rides and out to eat. Plus, way easier to read than Fox in Socks.
This one is probably more of a favorite of mine than my son’s. He gets through about two pages of this book before he ultimately gets bored and finds something else to read (Goodnight Gorilla, seriously). Someday, kid, you’ll love this one too.
Cat in the Hat
Are You My Mother?
We also have this one in the Bright & Early board book, and it’s another diaper bag favorite. Something about that “snort!” gets a grin out of him every time!