There’s a charming book store on Columbus Street here. It’s called City Light Books, and it’s everything that a charming city book store should be. The hills of San Francisco slope tenderly down to its door, and inside, nooks and crannies compose multiple split-leveled floors. At first, I was disappointed, because it seemed that within the volumes of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, there were no books for children.
Lo and behold, though, a sign seemingly tucked away and out of my vision eventually was brought to my attention, and within seconds I followed its beckoning call downstairs. My feet cautiously crept down the series of off-kilter platforms, until I landed on the basement floor, still searching for the kids’ section. It was modest, but it was rich. I saw some familiar novels and peered through exciting titles, wishing I had all the money in the world so I could build a library like this for myself.
I’m not sure exactly when I fell in love with children’s books, but I know exactly why I did. It’s not just because I’m a teacher, and it’s not just because they’re beautiful and fun to look at.
Children’s books have a way of making universal messages easily differentiable to everyone–no matter our shape, size, age, or intellect. Children’s books have layers of meaning, and with each read and reread, a new layer of meaning is uncovered, commensurate to the level at which you are ready and capable of understanding. They’re almost like an old best friend–one that gives and takes and knows just when to push you–and how to do so in just the right way.
If you haven’t in a while, pick up a children’s book, and see what’s in it for you.