Sharing a story with a child is a true pleasure. But here's something even better: having a child share a story with you.
Reading Rainbow -- a longtime favorite of bookworms -- announced the winners of its 15th annual Young Writers & Illustrators Contest. Nearly 40,000 kids participated, with first, second, and third place winners being named for each of the participating grades (kindergarten through third).
The stories are just as much fun to read as published books. There's Michaela's tale of a nearsighted caterpillar (I can relate, at least to the bad vision), Rachel's industrious spider, Ethan's brave exploration of his mother's purse, and Abigail's tear-jerker "Finding Grandpa." And that's only a sampling. All the stories are well worth your time, and I bet you'll be as blown away as I was by the creativity and imagination of the kids.
This is also a great excuse to have your own child start writing and drawing their own tales. The Reading Rainbow winners narrated their stories. With a tape-recorder or a computer mic, you can do the same. If you're looking for a good story starter, try Dot's Story Factory on PBS KIDS. This month's theme is Carnivals.