Mem Fox is the author of many popular books for children and adults. She is also a former professor of literacy education. Harcourt has recently published her updated and revised edition of "Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever." I would urge everyone to get a copy and read it. It is, quite simply, excellent.

One of the points Mem Fox brings forward in her book is the importance of fathers reading to their children. She is especially insistent that fathers read aloud to their sons. Not only does this establish a lasting, strong bond between father and child, Fox points out that "...anything that demonstrated a male enjoying reading would probably be the most significant factor in getting the boy to read." (See Chapter Seventeen: Boys and Reading).

If you're not a dad, pass this along to one. Encourage fathers or other male role models to read to children, and watch the magic happen!

Books to Borrow

The following book is available at many public libraries.

"The Very Lonely Firefly" written and illustrated by Eric Carle, Philomel Books, 30 pages

Read aloud: age 2 - 3 and older.

Read yourself: age 7 and older.

One evening while the sun was setting, a little firefly was born. It stretched its wings and set off in search of other fireflies.

Following different lights, each turned out to be something other than a firefly. A light bulb, a candle, a flashlight, the reflection of animal eyes; all were lights, but none were what the very lonely firefly was seeking. After searching the night sky, at last the little firefly saw what he was yearning for.

Written to convey the message that we all want to belong to a group, a family, or our own group of fellow creatures, "The Very Lonely Firefly" embraces this truism in a subtle, simplistic and complete way.

Librarian's Choice

Library: Switzerland County Public Library, 205 Ferry St., Vevay

Library Director: Shannon Phipps

Children's Librarian: Judi Terpening

Choices this week: "SUPERDOG" by Caralyn Buehner; "Flat Stanley" by Jeff Brown; "There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom" by Louis Sachar

Books to Buy

The following books are available at favorite bookstores.

"Jacob Wonderbar and the interstellar time warp" written and illustrated by Nathan Bransford, Dial, 2013, 263 pages, $16.99 hardcover

Read aloud: age 8 - 9 and older.

Read yourself: age 9 - 10 and older.

Jacob Wonderbar returns home from outer space after a whirlwind two-week journey and discovers he somehow hit a time warp - a half a century had passed on Earth. His now ninety-year-old mom tells Jacob (who is still 12) he must find his father (who is lost in time) and correct time itself. But where did the problem begin in the first place and why? Jacob knows that changing the past can have huge repercussions on the future, so he must be very careful to make the right moves...

Get ready to warp from the present into the past, the future, and back to the present again on this wild ride through the universe. With twists and turns galore, this third and final book is loaded with laughs, adventure, and strong yet subtle life lessons on family, friendship and loyalty.

Bravo, Nathan Bransford! This reviewer can't wait to read what you dream up for your next novel!

"Miss Moore Thought Otherwise" by Jan Pinborough, illustrated by Debby Atwell, Houghton Mifflin, 2013, 40 pages, $16.99 hardcover

Read aloud: age 6 and older.

Read yourself: age 7 - 8 and older.

When Anne Carroll Moore was a young girl, children weren't allowed to take books home from the library, and many libraries didn't allow children to even come inside. But when Miss Moore was a young woman, she had her own ideas about the importance of creating Children's Rooms in every library. Beginning in 1911 when the New York Public Library on 5th Ave. and 42nd St. opened their doors for the first time, it was Miss Moore who had created the best Children's Room in all of New York. And she didn't stop there; libraries across America and many places throughout the world began to copy what Miss Moore had started - specialized sections where excellent books could be enjoyed by children both at the library and at home.

A marvelous, thought-provoking book about the importance of libraries, books, and the courage and persistence of Anne Carroll Moore, this selection is a must-read.



Nationally syndicated, Kendal Rautzhan writes and lectures on children's literature. She can be reached at her website: www.greatestbooksforkids.com.