A chilly breeze, a warm fire, the chance of snow (or cold rain if you live in Alabama), loved ones all around, and a good book make for a wonderful winter night. It is the time of year where the list of to-dos can be pushed aside, in favor of spending time with family and reading those well-known stories that have shaped many childhood memories year after year. Not only is it the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ to recite these stories, reading to young children has many benefits.
Research backs this up. According to the National Education Association, 26 percent of kids who were read to 3-4 times weekly recognize the letters of the alphabet. Among kids read to less frequently, that number drops to 14 percent.
Gwen Pascal, a Children’s Librarian at the Tuscaloosa Public Library is passionate about reading to children and encouraging them to read. Over the years, she has compiled a list of some of her favorite holiday stories.
“Olive, the Other Reindeer is one of my favorites,” said Pascal. “He’s a dog who’s wrapping gifts, listening to Christmas music, and trimming the tree, and he hears the line ‘all of the other reindeer,’ and thinks, ‘oh, I’m a reindeer.’”
Pascal enjoys reading to children that come to weekly story times at the library every Wednesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. Anyone who walks into Pascal’s office can see the impact she has on the children who visit the library, as her desk is decorated with cards from children she has read to ever since infancy.
“I’ve been doing this for 16 years. I have kids that came in when they’re young, and now they’re graduating high school and going off to college,” she said.
Services offered at the Tuscaloosa Public Library give local children many opportunities to read classic holiday stories. A children’s book table highlights a variety of seasonal books to choose from at Main library. If you want to check out some Christmas and holiday books, head to the library quickly – they are popular choices this time of year.