May Theme: The Bonds of Reading by John Claude Bemis

Last weekend my four-year old daughter Rose and I visited my parents in Oriental, NC.  On the ride down, I asked Rose what she was looking forward to doing with them.  She rattled off a long list—going down to the pier, walking their dog Mandy, doing sewing projects—and finally she said, “And reading of course.”

Of course!  A visit with her grandmother would never be complete without many sessions snuggled up together on the hammock reading Shel Silverstein, The Berenstain Bears, or The Littles.  Reading together has been a family tradition, one my parents began with me when I was little and one that my wife and I continue around our house.  As a rabid book-lover and author, it makes me light-headed with joy when my daughter says, “Let’s read.”  I love to see the spellbound look on her face when my wife or I read a bed-time book to her.

Time spent reading together I believe is some of the most important time for kids and parents.  It’s a time for explaining the world, exploring the mysteries of human behavior, or discussing how to best solve a problem.  Books connect young readers with the wider world beyond their everyday experience.  But more importantly, books connect kids with their parents.  Reading forges deep bonds between parents and children.  Books really do bring us together in ways electronic media never can.

With Mother’s Day coming up this weekend, I want to give a special thank you to the two most important mothers in my life: my mom who instilled a love of reading in me and my wife who is helping make our daughter into a more curious, creative, and compassion person…as well as one serious book lover.

If you want a chance to win an advance copy of The Prince Who Fell from the Sky, give a special shout-out of thanks to an important mom in your life or make any comment here under my post by Thurs, May 10th.  The winner will be selected at random on Friday morning and announced here on Smack Dab as well as on my website  To be considered you must be a follower of Smack Dab in the Middle and a resident of the United States or Canada.


  1. There's nothing like snuggling up with your kids and reading together! Thanks for the contest.

  2. My sons still like me to read aloud to them and they are 14 and 12. It is just a special time. Unfortunately it doesn't happen near as much as it used to!

  3. I love that you call yourself a "rabid book-lover"! What a perfect description...

  4. Summer is coming! That means more time to read...hopefully I can read with my boys more often!

  5. Both my mom and my son's mom are terrific people. May the world have more mothers like them!

  6. Congratulations to our randomly selected winner...Tom Franklin!

    Thanks to everyone for your comments and participation. To all you mothers, I hope you have a very happy Mother's Day this Sunday.


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