This morning, my daughter and her husband, along with Patrick, age 5, and Shannon, age 4, stopped by to visit Pop-Pop and check on his recovery. I noticed that Shannon was carrying a Pinkalicious book in her hand, but not the one that I had read to her several weeks ago.
“What’s that you have, Shannon?” I inquired.
“It’s a Pinkalicious book that I got at the book fair. Will you read it to me, Mimi? Will you read it in that funny voice?”
I remembered the laughs we had when I read the other book. I imitated Pinkalicious and used a very whiny voice. Shannon really got a kick out of it. It dawned on me that when Shannon had a chance to choose a book on her own, she chose another Pinkalicious book. Not only that, she made certain that she brought it with her when she came to our house today. Naturally, I read the book. Naturally, I used the same “funny” voice whenever Pinkalicious spoke. Naturally, Shannon giggled her way through the book.
You never really know the impact you have on a child. Playing the role of the character, using a different voice, clearly made an impression on my granddaughter. She now associates Pinkalicious with humor and fun. She now chooses similar books. I think there is a lesson here for anyone who reads aloud to kids and wants to foster literacy. Change it up, have fun with it, make it memorable and they’ll be back for more!