Wishing for Books

by Ann Parker, The University of Arizona

Parker Wishes, children’s wishes for booksI wish I had a book.

I wish for all kids around the world to have books.

I wish I had an endless supply of books.

I wish that I could have history books.

I wish everyone would read a book they enjoy!

I wish everyone could read.I whish I could red a book for the world.

Reading and own lots of books.

I wish I could levetat when ever Id wish.

I wish animals and I could talk.

I mirmaid real.

I wish for a dinosaur.

I wish I could fly!

While this might look like a disparate group of children’s wishes, to me they are connected: they represent the power that books have in our imaginations and in our lives. I can tell these wishes came from kids who love to read. The kids who wish they could fly, or levitate, or talk to animals, the kids who want a mermaid or dinosaur – these are the kids who know that in books, anything is possible. Who didn’t read Harry Potter and wish they had a Nimbus 2000 to go flying around on? Who wouldn’t want to talk to animals after reading Winnie-The-Pooh or Charlotte’s Web? Read Dino Bikes by Italian author/illustrator Eva Montanari, and you’ll want to go bike riding with a tyrannosaurus rex. Reading allows kids to open up their imaginations and envision a place where anything is possible.

And if kids know that in books anything is possible, that in books you can fly or levitate, or escape poverty or hunger, or live in peace with others, wouldn’t they want to share those books with kids all over the world? If reading books can help make your wishes come true, then wouldn’t you wish that ability on all the kids in the world?

These children’s wishes remind me that books open whole new worlds for readers, whether it is the world they live in or the world that exists only in the author’s – and reader’s – minds. Books allow imaginations to soar and allow us to wish for the fantastic – like owning a dinosaur – or the achievable, like wishing that everyone had the power to read and owned lots of great books.

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