Dreaming big while they’re small

Sofia reading Dream Big Little Pig

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we’re thinking about dreams. The other day, Sofia and I were reading Kristi Yamaguchi’s “Dream Big, Little Pig.” Have you read it with your little one? In the book, Poppy the Pig want to be a star. She tries different things to try to figure out how she can shine. Her initial attempts at modeling, singing, and dancing are met with disappointment and some fairly harsh words from teachers and judges. But, with her family and best friend encouraging her to keep dreaming, she finally finds a hobby she loves and that inspires others.

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How to raise avid readers

Our parents always gave us books as gifts on our birthdays and Christmas, and as rewards for doing well in school or extracurricular activities. Sometimes they were a bribe for doing something we would normally drag our feet on. I distinctly remember getting some money to pick a new Bobbsey Twins book one afternoon after a ballet class that I dreaded going to. Also, Philippine television in the early 80s was heavily censored due martial law. There were only three channels and cartoons were limited to a 30-minute show in the afternoon. By default, reading was a source of hours of entertainment, allowing my imagination to wander to foreign lands and different places in time.

Today, I find there are more options vying for my kids’ attention, which they sometimes find more attractive than sitting quietly with a book. Here are some ways that have worked for me to keep reading interesting and grow a love for books:

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New Year’s Eve traditions

New Year's Eve 13 round fruit

The holidays, from Thanksgiving through Christmastime, are full of tradition. Some we maintain from our childhoods, others we adopt. Still others we either create or acquire when we form our own families. The start of this New Year brings to mind a lot of the rituals, superstitions, and customs I’ve come across as we look to leave 2015 behind and make a fresh start in 2016.

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