March 03, 2021Fishing and Reading

You know that awesome feeling at the end of the day when the work's all done right on schedule ... when the laundry's caught up, the yard's all mowed and trimmed, the house is neat and tidy, floors and baths are gleaming, and some delicious aroma is wafting from the kitchen where dinner is bubbling away on the stove?

Yeah, me neither.

But today it wasn't my fault, because it finally arrived ... the book I pre-ordered months ago: Will Terry's book, What They Don't Teach You in Art School. And it really needs to get read. Really it does. All 300 pages. What choice do I have?

When something fabulous shows up at your front door, cooking, cleaning, yard work, and, yes, even drawing, all take a back seat. Though I will say that I'll go back to the drawing board all flush with excitement and renewed vigor. Especially after a book like this.

Books are important. And for lots of good reasons other than merely avoiding chores. People who love books and reading know this. Folks like us who draw, write and publish books for children know this.

Reading is a lot like fishing. You've heard the old adage: "Give a man a fish and he eats today. Teach him to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime."

Well, it's the same with books ... you can entertain and engage children with a book, and it's pleasurable and perhaps they'll learn something today. But teach them to love reading and help them develop a habit of reading, and they will be learning for a lifetime.

Parents have the hard part: getting their children to love books. Eventually the children will learn to love reading and will reach for the books on their own, but to get to that point the parents will have to invest plenty time and effort reading to their children and exposing them to books.

Now I won’t be trying to tell parents how to raise children, because I don’t have any of those and I know less than nothing about that! Well … I say that I don’t have any kids, but earlier I confessed that I’d prefer to read a book than cook dinner … there might be a kid living at my house after all! But I gave up on raising that girl years ago, and I suspect there’s a very good reason why God didn’t give me charge over real children.

But as picture book makers, we have a unique opportunity to help those parents straddled with the hard task of teaching children to love books.

It’s so simple … all we have to do is to just make our books the most awesome, inspiring, griping, enlightening, can’t-put-it-down-till-the-end, life-changing tomes anybody ever read!

That’s all.

So, in this month’s blogs let’s discuss that. And we’ll also take a look at what we’re up against … nothing great is ever accomplished without some push-back. And we have fearsome competition …

Meanwhile, if that book you ordered shows up today, I say, order take out and go curl up with the book while you wait for the delivery guy to show up ... we have to keep those priorities straight. Always do the important things first.

When I learn all of Mr. Terry's secrets, I'll share them with you, and in a month or two we'll all be rich and famous, and then we'll just hire people to make the house all neat, gleaming, and bubbly, and we can spend our time amazing the world with our brilliance!

See how everything just falls into place when you prioritize? You're welcome.

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  • Dixie says:
    2021-03-09, 07:48:32
    Very good, I guess your inner child took priority.
    Thank you for your blogs, love them. You see even as a senior, I'm still learning.
    God Bless.
    Learning never stops! Everyday until the very end!
    - Sherry A Mitcham
  • Kathy says:
    2021-03-03, 12:01:32
    I agree reading can be a blessing; it can introduce the reader into heretofore worlds unknown. Yet, it carries with the the responsibility of using the material read in productive ways. BUT, God gave most of us brains that have the ability to think and reason and act ( or not).

    Don’t get me started on my feelings about the current flood of censorship we’re seeing now!
    That's what's most alarming about these times we're living in ... education and reading are not about learning "what" to think, as much as they're about learning "how" to think. That's the theme of this month's blogs: what we allow to pour into our children's minds as well as our own minds ... Parents, please pay attention!!!- Sherry A Mitcham