How You Can Turn Your Kids into Bookworms

Every parent wants their child to be the kid who loves to read. However, I get the general feeling that a lot of parents that want this think that it is something a child is born with. A child isn’t born with a desire to read all the time, it is something that they grow interested in. How might a child grow interested in reading you ask? Well, typically parents who promote reading as a fun activity to their children tend to see results. If you plop your child down in front of the TV and let them watch it for hours on end, the chances they will turn it off in favor of a book are slim. If you actively read books to your children until they can learn to read on their own, you are setting them up for success. Take the initiative and make your child into a reader.

A post called, “Raising a Reader” featured on Monika’s World talked about this topic recently. The post lists ways that you can take an active approach to make reading a part of your family’s daily routine. It really isn’t that difficult to make these changes, and your child will reap the benefits of it.

Interview with Brendan Barth

Author Brendan Barth lives in San Francisco, California with his wife and teaches at a Catholic school. He is the author of Andrew’s Christmas a children’s book about Christmas. The thing that I loved about Brendan’s book was that it is faith based and that is something difficult to find today. We had the pleasure of interviewing Brendan Barth about his inspirations and about Andrew’s Christmas.

Catholic Author Brendan Barth

So your book Andrew’s Christmas came out in 2011, what were your inspirations for creating a holiday themed book?

The inspiration came from teaching; my students came in hardly knowing anything about the origins of the Christmas story, from the Infancy Gospels to how the traditions came to America. So I set aside some time to do a unit plan on the history of Christmas, because if these smart Catholic students are so clueless on the history, how can they be confident about how they, in their present lives, view the season in relation to their faith?

What is the one thing that you want young readers to take away from Andrew’s Christmas?

That Christmas isn’t about commerce, and not to let that divine spark in all of us be dulled by media. This is a time for reflection and redemption, to be better people all year long. Hopefully, it’s a message that will connect also to the parent who is reading the book to their child.

Andrew's Christmas by Brendan Barth It seems that so many holiday books focus on things other than the birth of Christ. What inspired your focus in this book?

Because it’s in the name: CHRISTmas, meaning Rite of the Anointed One. If we as people of faith don’t have this in the forefront of our minds and actions, the reason of the season becomes meaningless. So then people write books on reindeer or gift wrapping.

When did you begin writing and what made you want to continue doing it?

I always loved to write, whether it was letters, stories, even papers for school. If I don’t write every day, I feel bad. And to this day, I believe writing is the most elegant way to express an idea that is lasting.

Where did the idea for Andrew’s journey through the tree’s ornaments come from?

The idea came at a Christmas party at a good friend’s house. His six year old child at the party was bored by all the adults and their conversation, and he sat me on the couch and wanted me to tell him a story. We were looking at their Christmas tree with the angel on top, and I just riffed about what if we became really small and could have an adventure in the tree? He liked the idea, and we just did it. His name, by the way, is Andrew, and he and his family are true faith filled Catholics, and an inspiration to me personally as well as in my writing.

Will there be more children’s books or other books to come from Brendan Barth?

Yes! I have eight more planned based on the Andrew character on topics such as fear, faith, family, and Easter. The next one, hopefully out soon, will be on prayer.

You can find out more about Brendan Barth on his website or by following him on Twitter!

Final Installment of Pope’s Book Series About Jesus Coming Out

Pope Benedict XVI has a book coming out next week in the United States. The book focuses on Jesus’ early years as a child. The book is called “Jesus of Nazerath: The Infancy Narratives” and is the final volume in the Pope’s series of books about Jesus. The previous two titles have been New York Times Best Sellers and I’m sure this installment will be as well!

Learn more about “Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives” follow this link: Pope Benedict’s Final Book on Jesus Coming Out Next Week

Reading to Your Child From Miles Away: Be There Bedtime Stories

We recently posted about teaching your child to read here on My Catholic Blog and this post is also related to that topic. Teaching your child to read is truly important to their growth as a person. If you are a parent, grandparent, brother, or sister reading with a younger member of your family is not only a good chance for them to learn, but also a great opportunity to bond and spend time together. Cherish the time that you get to spend together and never turn down a request from a young child to be read a story.

Catholic Mom featured a post written by Jennifer Gladen recently about Be There Bedtime Stories. These books let you record yourself reading a story so that you can send it to a loved one. This is a great idea for parents who travel a lot, or grandparents who do not live close to their grandchildren. There is something special about hearing somebody’s voice that makes me feel like Be There Bedtime Stories would be a big hit with kids.

What do you think about Be There Bedtime Stories? Would you ever send one to a son, daughter, or grandchild?