Wednesday, October 5, 2011

HTML Stands for How To Make Lunch

Recently, as I have been sharing with more and more of my friends that I am working on publishing children's books, I have been asked what I think about e-books for young children.

I don't have a simple answer for this.

I am really a traditional person when it comes to communication.  While I don't use a stone tablet and a chisel, I do miss the card catalogue when I visit the library.  My Day Runner calendar is filled with post-its, and while I do have a smart phone, I only use it as a phone and for email.  I ask my kids to help me with the computer, and to me HTML stands for 'How To Make Lunch'.

Getting back to the topic. . .

I am in favor of anything that can get a child to read.  Whether it be a magazine, the label on a candy bar, a dictionary, a picture book, or a sign along the freeway, reading is an invaluable skill that can only lead to amazing adventures.

I have always loved books!  The feel of getting into the story by turning the pages to see what will happen next is exciting.  I enjoy watching my bookmark move closer to the end of the book.  As a parent, sitting with a child and teaching them how to turn the pages for the first time, how to make sure that they are holding the book right side up, and teaching them to follow the words with their fingers is a mind blowing experience.  Right before your eyes, a whole new world of learning is discovered!

However, today's kids (and many adults) prefer the digital age.  I guess that it is time that I join the 21st century.  If we can teach our children to read the e-books and not only have the e-book read the story to the child, then I think that they are great.  E-book publishers have developed so many ways that children can interact with the stories and can challenge their imaginations.  I do believe that adults do need to make the extra effort to encourage our children to make the best use of these applications and to actually do the reading-- to explore the story rather than to allow the electronic device of their choice to do all of the work for them.

It saddens me to see so many book stores either changing their structure or closing down.  Just the other day, I was in our local book store and a large quantity of book shelves had been removed and replaced by toys.  Educational toys, but nevertheless, toys.  In fact, to even arrive at the children's book section of the store, one must first walk past the toys.  If you were 6 years old where would you gravitate towards in a store-- the books or the toys?

I would like to make a promise to everyone, and I hope that you will make this promise too.

I, Sandi Hershenson, do promise to make every effort to help children to enjoy reading.  Whether they read with a book in hand or on a digital device, I will encourage them to read.

Now I am going to go read my cookbook on HTML.

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