Magical Library: What is your first memory of being read to/reading on your own/ or books in general?

Jess: My first memory of reading has to be when I was in third grade. I had an amazing teacher that loved to read and use all her fun character voices to keep us engaged. We sadly lost her in the middle of the year to cancer, but right before she passed away, she brought us all books. I got James and The Giant Peach and was hooked ever since !!

ML:. How old were your kids when you started to read to them? What were some first books that you chose?

Jess: I read to my kids since they were in my belly! I wanted them to know and recognize their momma's voice as soon as they met me!

ML:  What was your experience of reading to kids?

Jess: I feel that reading to a classroom setting is definitely different than reading to my own children. When I’m reading to my own children they are usually in my lap as we look at pages together and cuddle. It’s a more personal bonding time. With my students I definitely feel it’s more to captivate them in the moment and lesson. Still stopping to get their thoughts and reactions forming relationships that way.

ML: What is one sure fire trick that you found to get your kids engaged or involved in reading time (setting a special time or place? rereading a particular book? bribery?)

Jess: For my students getting into a lot of my characters and traits to keep them engaged is my way to go and for my kids at home letting them jump in and read a sentence or two keeps them hooked !

ML:  What is your favorite children's book?

Jess: I have so many favorites, but one book I remember reading in early grade school that was always my absolute favorite was The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins. It just reminded me so much of my household growing up around all my cousins and family and just all being together constantly. Actually, thats how my house is now with my children’s friends and my nieces and nephews!

ML: Why is reading important to you?

Jess: Reading is so important to me because it expands your mind, it helps you with your feelings and emotions. It can take you to other places when you just need a moment from all the chaos that can be around you at times. It has been therapeutic for my son and his autism as well.

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