Reading as a Child

In Katia Novet Saint-Lot’s debut picture book Amadi’s Snowman, a young Nigerian boy dreams of being a trader.  He thinks he’ll wash cars like the older boys he sees around, and then use the money to buy things like plastic hangers, dish towels and matchboxes, that he’ll sell later.  His mother has different ideas.  She’s hired a tutor to teach him to read so that he can have an office job in the future.  Amadi escapes from the tutor and stumbles upon a book stall on his own.  There, in a book, he sees his first snowman – and discovers the wonders that can be found on the page.
Katia has started a meme about first reading experiences.  Paste the following five questions in your blog.  Answer them, and pass them along.
1. Do you remember the first book you ever read on your own?
2. Do you remember how you felt? If not, maybe you remember how you felt seeing a child read for the first time?
3. Do you remember a book that you read again and again as a child?
4. Why that book? Have you read it again as an adult? If so, was it like you remembered?
5. Why do you read?
Here are my answers:
1. Do you remember the first book you ever read on your own?
I honestly don’t.  My earliest memory of reading is of those Dick and Jane readers in first grade (See Dick run!  See Spot run!  Run, Jane, run.”  But my mother tells me that I started reading earlier.  I remember enjoying Go, Dog, Go.  That’s also the first book that my son read in English on his own.
2. Do you remember how you felt? If not, maybe you remember how you felt seeing a child read for the first time?
The first time my son read a book in English, I wanted to break out the champagne.  I was thrilled!  And Go, Dog, Go is very long!!  Back in the day, picture books could go up to 40 or 50 pages! 
3. Do you remember a book that you read again and again as a child?
I loved the Madeline books, the Babar books, the Curious George books, and the series about Clifford the Big Red Dog.  I remember making Babar paper dolls.
4. Why that book? Have you read it again as an adult? If so, was it like you remembered?
I’ve read all of these books to my children.  My kids love them, and I still enjoy them, though the Babar books and the Curious George books seem politically incorrect now…
5. Why do you read?
I love to be transported to other worlds, to learn about new things, to be entertained, to be provoked, to have the pleasure of reading beautiful writing.  Reading relaxes me.  If I can’t read, I become very grumpy.  Books can also offer companionship and help us feel less alone.
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