Books 2017-06-15T16:06:05+00:00

Kisses and Cuddles


I always felt like “stupid” kid—younger than my peers, slower to develop, and awkwardly shy. While my friends shared laughter as members of the “Purple People Eaters,” (a coveted grade school reading group), I was a “Fish.” That meant I had to visit The Big Top each week, a cloyingly bright and bubbly remedial room.

I hated the stigma of attending The Big Top. But I loved the magic held inside: books—dozens and dozens of big, beautiful picture books. The words intrigued me, the illustrations inspired. I dreamed of becoming a great artist one day, a great explorer, or a great spy. But mostly I dreamed. And that is the point: these books shaped my aspirations and my values.

The Giving Tree, Harry the Dirty Dog, The Little Engine that Could, Curious George, The Goops, Harriet the Spy, Bread and Jam for Francis, The Ugly Duckling, Homer Price, and The Story About Ping—I cherished them all. They showed me something bigger. They inspired me to something more. My early books set the foundation for a love of reading and a life of learning.


It did mine. But a good education eludes many people. The starting point? Learning to read. The problems of illiteracy affect every one of us, but these are problems we can solve.

That’s why we do all we can to get books in the hands of children and families. And that’s why we go the extra mile to get deep into local communities with inventive, joyful programming that inspires a love of reading and ignites a spark for learning.


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