Shannon Hitchcock is a freelance writer specializing in stories for children and young adults.
I met Shannon while we were both attending the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrator’s conference in Miami, Florida. Her debut novel, The Ballad of Jessie Pearl, was inspired by her son’s eighth grade history project. It’s great to have Shannon visit Good Books to Share.
Please share about your experience of connecting with books as a child. What positive memories do you have?
The first stories I fell in love with were fairy tales. Hansel and Gretel and Jack and the Beanstalk were my favorites. I remember hearing my mother read them in her slow southern drawl. I shivered when the mean ol’ giant chased Jack, and then clapped in delight when Jack chopped down the beanstalk.
Tell us about your experiences of being an adult and reading to a child.
I enjoyed reading to my son when he was little. Two particular favorites were The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown and all of the Thomas the Tank Engine books.
Please share your thoughts on and tips for sharing good books with children.
My son has grown up to be a voracious reader. If I look back at the reasons why, these four things stand out.
Ready access. I kept a basket full of books in the family room and a well-stocked bookshelf that he could reach in his bedroom.
I made reading fun. Alex would be sad when his dad had to travel for business, so after dinner and bath time, I’d let him crawl into bed with me. I would read several books aloud to him and then say, “Mommy’s going to read a grown-up book now, while you read to yourself.” It was relaxing for both of us.
I read what interested Alex, even if it didn’t interest me. I must have read The Pokemon Handbook at least a thousand times.
As soon as Alex was old enough, I signed him up for the summer reading programs at our public library. He loved the competition aspect and winning little prizes.
These are fabulous ideas, Shannon! Thanks for sharing them.
Be sure to check out Shannon’s historical novel, The Ballad of Jessie Pearl.
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