The Need to Surround Our
Children With Quality Literature
What kinds of books should I encourage my kids to read?
By Sarah Rees
Oh, for a booke and a shadie nooke,
Eyther in doore or out;
With the grene leaves whispering overhead
Or the street cryes all about;
Where I maie reade all at my ease,
Both of the newe and olde;
For a jollie goode booke whereon to looke
Is better to me than golde.
—W. R. Inge1
This little poem never fails to make me smile. It presents uch a picture of pleasure that I want to be instantly transported to that shady nook with a book tucked
under my arm, a cup of tea nearby, and
the sounds of the busyness around me
fading into a quiet murmur.
As long as I have known how to read,
this poem has painted a beautiful picture
of a scene that I desire to re-create. I sup-
pose my parents birthed this vision soon
after they gave birth to me and now, a few
decades later, my own son is just the right
age for learning to sit up in Mommy’s lap
with a brightly colored board book.
Why Pick Books?
• Choosing quality books “adds to our
voice” as parents.
Proverbs 11: 14 says, “Where no counsel
is, the people fall: but in the multitude of
counsellors there is safety.” Imagine that
each good book you tote home from
the library or make a home for on your
bookshelf is a counselor to help you
parent well. Choosing to surround our
children with good literature is choos-
ing to help ourselves—strengthening our
hands and multiplying our voice in our
• Choosing quality books points the
way to Jesus.
I think I still have the torn page
somewhere, probably tucked between
my first haircut clipping and photos
from high school graduation. It’s the
page from the children’s Bible verse storybook that God used to open my eyes
to my need for a Savior. I was 5 years
old and learning to read the verses.
Next to each page of text was an illustration. Mom and I flipped to the page
that showed a little girl kneeling with
her mother in prayer. God reached my
heart through that verse and that picture. I asked my mom if I could pray to