There’s something about watching a child read a book you wrote.
It warms the heart.
That intense concentration, that look that says the rest of the world doesn’t exist right now.
Reading was like that for me as a child — I got entirely lost in the worlds of the books I read.
Meet Jian Noa, 10, and younger brother Taj, 7. The brothers attend a French school in Toronto. Taj has been teaching himself to read in English and was proud to be able to read Myrtle.
They and their loving grandmother brought the book for me to autograph, and Taj read the book to me, and we all had a great visit.
Earlier, at a Christmas party hosted by friends in the countryside northwest of Toronto, I had the pleasure of meeting two other readers. In the middle of a room filled with adults — talking, drinking, eating appetizers, moving around — I noticed two children sitting on a sofa reading Myrtle.
Siblings Claire, 6 and Josh, 8, were totally absorbed in the book.
They read every page to each other as if they were the only people in the room.
When I asked what they thought of the book, they both responded with “I loved it.” When I asked why, Claire said: “I love the pictures and all the colours.”
Josh’s response nearly took my breath away: “I loved it because it teaches kids that it’s not how you look, it’s how nice you are that matters”.
Wow. Isn’t that wonderful?