In honour of Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2nd, the National Education Association (NEA) has set aside this week to honor the birthday of one of the world’s most beloved children’s author. The NEA’s Read Across America began in 1998 and is an annual reading motivation and awareness program celebrated to encourage reading and literacy and create lifelong readers.
This year NEA is teaming up with Renaissance Dental to deliver an important message: 2 x 2 + 20 = good oral health and literacy habits. “We’re asking children and their parents to brush for two minutes, two times per day plus read for 20 minutes each day,” said Rob Mulligan, president and CEO at Renaissance Dental. “That’s a daily total of 24 minutes focused on developing good oral health and reading skills.” American students miss over 51 million hours of school every year due to oral health problems. Students miss critical instruction time—especially in early grades where reading skills are a critical focus. This partnership will bring books and toothbrushes to kids in need on the eve of National Children’s Dental Health Month (February).
There are so many wonderful Dr. Seuss books that inspire and encourage reading, and there is nothing like reading with a child. Joy can be found not only by sharing the story, but also by sharing their reactions and discussing their thoughts.
Don’t forget to read to your adult loved ones as well. That special poem, silly rhyme, moving passage, joke that you can’t wait to share, or just the book you are reading now.
“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child.”
Here is a listing of some of my favourite children’s and young adult authors (that I am still reading!)
A. Chris van Allsburg (Polar Express), G.A. Aiken (What a Dragon Should Know), Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)
B. JM Barrie (Peter Pan), Frank Baum, Alan Bradley (Flavia deLuce), Thornton Burgess, Gillian Bradshaw (Arthur series)
C. Lewis Carroll (Alice), Chaucer
D. Kate DiCamillo, Roald Dahl, Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe), Jeanne DuPrau (Embers)
E. Julie Andrews Edwards, Michael Ende (NeverEnding story)
F. Ian Fleming (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), Anne Frank, Fynn (Mister God, this is Anna)
G. Neil Gaiman, Kenneth Graham, Jean Craighouse George
H. Mark Haddon (Curious Incident Dog in the Night), Rachel Hartman (Seraphina), George Haley
I. Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie), Washington Irving (Rip van Winkle)
J. William Joyce (Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore), Brian Jacques, W.E. Johns (Biggles)
K. Rudyard Kipling, Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew)
L. Andrew Lang (Blue Fairy Book), Madeleine L’Engle, Munro Leaf (Story of Ferdinand), Edward Lear (Owl and Pussycat), C.S. Lewis (Narnia)
M. Walter Moers, Gregory Maguire, Andrew Motion (Silver), Brandon Mull
N. Edith Nesbit (Railway children), John Newbery, Mary Norton (Borrowers)
O. Scott O’Dell
P. Terry Pratchett (I shall wear Midnight), Philip Pullman (His Dark Materials), Gary Paulson
R. JK Rowling (Harry Potter), Arthur Ransom, Marjorie Rawlings, Rick Riordan (Perry Jackson)
S. Robert Louis Stevenson (Kidnapped), Maurice Sendak, Lane Smith, (It’s a Book), Louis Sachar, Dr Suess, Lemony Snicket, Brian Selznick (Hugo)
T. J.R.R. Tolkein, Nigel Tranter, Mark Twain, Tasha Tudor
U. Anne Ursu (Shadow Thieves), Florence Upton (golliwoggs)
V. Chris Van Allsburg (Jumanji)
W. T. H. White (Sword in the Stone), E. B. White (Charlotte’s Web), H.G. Wells
Y. Laurence Yep (Golden Mountain Chronicles), Jane Yolen (Owl Moon, Wizard’s Hall)
Z. Paul Zindel (Pigman), Pamela Zagarenski (illustrator)