Books That Inspire 2012

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."

- Emilie Buchwald

And maybe, too, on the laps of their grandparents. I read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? to Finn (see photo) when he was about 16 months old. He already knew how books work: the way the eye moves from left to right, the way a pudgy hand turns the pages, the way questions get asked on one page and answered on another. These conventions of reading are often taken for granted by grandparents. But when we read to children we are reminded of the need to reflect on how readers learn to read. Reading is an amazingly complex and uniquely human activity where our languages, memories, and motivations work together to produce new languages, memories, and motivations . . . again and again, on and on. Fortunately, this is one uniquely human activity that leads to a lifetime of joy.

Michele Eodice
Associate Provost for Academic Engagement
Learning Teaching & Writing