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Words on the page

April 9th, 2012 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Parenting | Personal

I am the product of an English scholar and a journalism prof. I silently correct peoples grammar as they speak – or out loud if they’re on television. I hate making mistakes when I write. I married a man who will correct me just as I will correct him.

My mother surrounded us with books. I have fond memories of books through most of my life. I have made a concerted effort to create a love of books in my own child, and it seems to be working. She loves books, she brings them to us to read to her, she demands books to flip through after we say goodnight. She pretends to read while she’s on the potty.

I love watching her with a book.

Reading children’s literature is all about imagination and teaching a love of words and language – fun words, rhyming, big words that roll off the tongue can all make a kid want to know more and read more.

I am a firm believer in the idea that you can’t break the rules unless you know them. In my mind, children’s literature is where you learn the rules.

I have been known to change the wording in books as I read them to her to make the sentence sound right to me. I very often will make books that are narrated by Elmo into third person writing because Elmo speaking in the third person pisses me off to no end.

This weekend we went to a local craft show and met a local author – and as someone who may soon be in the position of self-publishing and self-promoting I want to support local authors. He had some mini-books in packs of three and we bought some and when we got home she asked me to read one.

There is no doubt that the stories are original, the characters are cute, but the storytelling is off and the rhymes are inexact. And then I saw it. In the middle of a sentence.

“Cos.”

‘Cos’ is a math term, a word on a calculator, and not really a word because it’s short for cosine.

The word he was looking for is because or, if you’re trying to shorten it ’cause. It bothered me. If my daughter is using your book to learn words, you just taught her a slang term and a wrong spelling. I have nothing against slang, but I’d like her to learn real words first if you don’t mind.

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