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It’s A Gray Area:

Expand your children’s horizons

August 16, 2008|By JAMES P. GRAY

So where is the most fascinating place you have ever been? It would be fun to hear from you and to discuss it. Then maybe we could share your answers with other readers. My most fascinating place is Aphrodisias, which is in the Asian part of Turkey. This was an 8th century B.C. city named for Aphrodite, who was the Greek Goddess of Love, and it absolutely captured me with its stadium, theater, forum, temples, baths — and stories! Trying to project what life was actually like in this fascinating place continues to fill me with inspiration and wonder.

And what are your favorite books for children? If we do not help instill in our children a love of reading at a fairly young age, they will be deprived of one of life’s most fascinating and rewarding pleasures (and parenthetically their scores on the SAT and similar tests will truly suffer).

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By the way, don’t forget to join a book discussion club yourself of about five to seven other people. I recommend you have dinner together once a month, and then gather around and discuss a book that has been assigned to and read by everyone for that session. There is virtually no limit to the enjoyment and stimulation you will experience.

So do a big favor for your children, grandchildren and other children you care about, and expose them to books. The best way to do that is to read to and with them at an early age. When I was on the abused and neglected children’s calendar in Juvenile Court, I purchased numbers of copies of the book “Fox in Socks” by Dr. Seuss, and gave them to the children’s parents, grandparents and foster parents with instructions to read the book to and with them. This is a wonderful, fun — and silly — tongue-twister of a book that lends itself perfectly to group reading. I think it worked, and I strongly recommend this book and this practice to you.

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