Tuesday, March 1, 2016

WHY A BOOK IS A GREAT GIFT FOR A CHILD

                            Give A Child A Book! Reading Lights An Imagination
                                        by K. Omodele @TheAbeng

"Read! Read! Read! and never stop until you discover the knowledge of the Universe!" ~ Marcus Garvey, instructing an audience in St. Kitts, British West Indies in 1937

I'll never forget the first book I ever read on my own from cover to cover- The Red Brigade. I was six and I read page after page for what seemed like the whole day; but, when I closed it, I felt big- bigger than my suck-a-finger self, bigger than dunking my butter bread in my tea, big like my mother's good-good school friend with the pretty, wide eyes, who used to pick me up and hug me up tight, but no more because now I could help her read all them heavy school books she had and maybe even get married because now I had read about it, she was sure to invite me to her socialist party.

The next book I remember reading was The Little Man, another children's book, about a slave boy that tore from plantation to plantation spreading news that the slaves were uprising. I was fascinated by the adventure of the insurrection; the graphics and descriptions of the pounding of the drums fixed my mind on the hand-crafted drum my beloved Auntie gifted my older cousins and me. The carved and chiseled wood, the stretched-tight goat skin over the head of the drum resembled the drawings in the book. How old could the drum be?

From then on, I patted the drum faster, pounded it harder, sprinting mile after mile, from plantation to plantation, rebelling. "Rise up! Burn down de cane fields!"

A book is a precious gift for a child. It can spark the imagination, ignite creativity and transport a young mind to intriguing places and times. A book can be more life impacting than a pair of Jordan's and leave longer-lasting impressions than a Polo shirt. Gifting a child a book sends a life message: reading must be valued; knowledge is better than silver and gold.

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