When you were a child, what did you want to be? I’ve heard the most common answers were things like astronauts, actors, artists, and the like. For me, I was part of a group of friends who were afflicted by the 2000s Disney-induced craze of people who wanted to be singers or musicians. I was decidedly not musically inclined (I believe that everyone can learn a talent, but just that…learning certain talents comes easier to some people than others,) but one thing I always loved was writing. From the moment I was able to, that’s what I wanted to do. Naturally, the dream job of choice for me was to be a songwriter.
Does that sound realistic? If I had continued down that path, spent more time learning about how to write for music specifically and had more opportunities to explore that industry, you might’ve seen my name in some songwriting credits.
That whole anecdote is my long-winded way of saying that when we are young, we know how to dream. I think childhood is an interesting balance of being a time where we are at our most organic with our interests– that what we’re naturally inclined to do when we are younger is something that we will always find personally fulfilling to a certain extent –but also need to be shown what kind of options there are out there so we can find what truly makes us tick. In other words, children need assistance while discovering what they love to do and need those interests nurtured after they’re discovered.
That’s why I think book events are highly beneficial for children. Ultimately, books are one of the first forms of art a child is exposed to, seeing as parents read bedtime stories before children can even properly speak. It’s sensible, then, to encourage them to explore books even further to learn more about reading, writing, and art. Whether it’s an event for an author who has a new children’s book release coming out, a panel of authors that talk about their creative processes, or even children’s book illustrators, any of these types of events allow an opportunity for children to learn more about books besides simply the words on the page. It lets them know that if they so choose, that could be them doing that exact same thing.
And if they aren’t necessarily interested in writing or illustrating themselves? That’s totally okay too– the important part is that they are shown the option and are encouraged regardless (and, even if they don’t care for the process of making a book, they might still love the events– you can love reading and not writing!)
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Side note: have you ever taken a look at Cardinal Rule Press’s children’s book, This Could Be You by Cindy Williams Schrauben? It’s the perfect book for encouraging any and all children to follow their dreams! It even comes with a FREE reader’s guide that includes lesson plans. It’s perfect for end-of-school-year send-offs.
And what if you already know that your child loves to write, and knows that they love to write? I would highly recommend taking them to these kinds of events anyway– perhaps even more than if you didn’t already know what your child is interested in. The journey doesn’t simply end at discovery– allowing your child’s interests to grow, bloom, and then finally flourish is a process that you will be invested in for most, if not all, of their youth (and even beyond!) Therefore, still take your child along to these kinds of events, because they’ll appreciate it even more and glean all the wonderful benefits.
This is, of course, not limited to book events. For any of your child’s interests, try to find events or activities that would promote their growth.
I’m just very partial to writing. I did, after all, want to be a songwriter.
So make a family event out of it. Have fun together. Check out your local bookstores, libraries, or consult the all-knowing internet to see what’s happening near you (or even online– technology is amazing these days, and many book events may be happening virtually, so you can join from the comfort of your own home). Your child will blossom.
Also: do you want to host a book-related event yourself? Cardinal Rule Press offers speaking engagements– check them out!
Chloe Kukuk, a junior majoring in public relations and English at Oakland University, is an editorial and marketing intern at the Cardinal Rule Press. When she’s not studying or working, she loves taking trips to the bookstore and lazing around the house with her three wonderful cats.