When my daughter's brain developed enough to comprehend humor, there was one thing in the world she chuckled at more than anything else.
I watched on as my daughter and husband laughed and tooted, and I started to look for a book that could really get us reading on this topic. I couldn't quite find one that I liked, so I did what some people do. I wrote my own.
What happened next doesn't always happen though, and that was that the book actually got picked up by a small publisher, and now it exists as its own entity, out in the world, just waiting to be discovered and bring laughter to story times all around the world.
While I'm excited to be published, my mission is greater. I'm a librarian, an author, a mother. Early literacy is important to me on a couple of levels, and I used to tutor reluctant readers while I was in college. Getting kids to read is the name of the game, whether its a childhood classic with all the elements of tactile learning or a silly book with seven synonyms for farts. When I was a kid, the book that really got me into reading was the Stinky Cheese Man, and Other Fairly Stupid Tales-because it made me laugh.
What if we started that movement, here, on Today, on Facebook, through the web? What if we made #earlylitlaughs a thing, and got kids giggling as they read through silly literature? How many readers could we create that would have otherwise fallen through the cracks?
This is my call. What was that book that made you laugh, that put a sparkle in your eye and made you realize hey, books can be pretty great? In a digital world, holding onto that feeling is vital now more than ever.
If there's one thing I know, its that laughter is one of the most powerful forces on Earth. I hope you'll join me in my effort to bring more of it into the world, as early in our children's lives as possible.