"A good children's book is a young person's earliest exposure to art and design, a conduit for parental bonding, a means to teach individual and social lessons..."
Not only does this ring true, but think about how early you need to expose children to books. Is 3 months too young? No. Is before birth too soon?? Never. When you build those bonds before entry into life, I believe the baby will recall the tone in your voice. I believe the 18 month old will mimic the manner in which you held his favorite book. Your 4 year old little boy will ask a thousand times over for his favorite "night-night" story.
The following response came from "The Goddess of YA Literature" Blog.
"So to the list of reasons why children's books matter, add the way that they reflect the times they were created in. 'They are the message-in-a-bottle that each generation tosses out to the next generation," Marcus says, "the record of one generation's hopes and dreams for the next.'"
This is Leonard Marcus, one of the finest scholars in the field and the person behind this exhibit as well. Think, now, about how we might use picture books with older readers to talk about the milieu of the books from various decades (the Newbery originated in the 20s and the Caldecott in the 30s). Think about comparing and contrasting books from different decades, say DRUMMER HOFF to PATROL or SMOKY NIGHT to THE MAN WHO WALKED BETWEEN THE TOWERS.
Leave some comments on the following quotes. Or better yet, create a quote of your own!
A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.
--Henry David Thoreau
Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.
One must be an inventor to read well. There is then creative reading as well as creative writing.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.
Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.
Easy reading is damn hard writing.
There are different rules for reading, for thinking, and for talking. Writing blends all three of them.
One rainy Sunday when I was in the third grade, I picked up a book to look at the pictures and discovered that even though I did not want to, I was reading. I have been a reader ever since.