“Imagination is what happens to your brain…to make your mind believe…stuff,” said a seven-year-old at the latest Raising Readers Presents event at the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine. The girl’s answer was to guest pediatrician, Dr. Christopher Pezzullo’s question, “what is Imagination?”
‘Dr. Chris’ then asked gathered families how an imagination is built. “Imaginations are built by reading books together at bedtime,” the Maine pediatrician explained and the children clamored to tell him who read to them at bedtime.
Many of the books read at bedtime in Maine are books distributed at well-child visits by healthcare providers across the state. The books are supplied by the Raising Readers program and the ongoing Raising Readers Presents event series honors the books and the authors that make up that annual collection of board books, picture books, and an anthology.
An anthology is given as the final book in the program to Maine five-year-old’s and contains five books created by Maine authors and illustrators. The anthology that will be distributed throughout 2012 and into 2013 is Maine Stories for Maine Children: A Raising Readers Collection which contains the uproarious story, Cousin Ruth’s Tooth by Falmouth author, Amy MacDonald.
Amy MacDonald appeared at Raising Readers Presents to give an exuberant reading of Cousin Ruth’s Tooth and to tell families about the famous Fister family that appears in the book. Families may recognize the Fister family from a prior book, Rachel Fister’s Blister which was part 0f another Raising Readers anthology.
The children in the audience marveled at how silly the adults were in the book as they looked for Cousin Ruth’s lost tooth. Many in the audience had lost teeth of their own and knew (unlike the Fisters) that a new tooth will grow in to replace the one lost. One child even proudly showed Amy MacDonald her missing tooth.
Families followed Amy MacDonald’s reading with an animal tooth hunt in the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine‘s Ranger Station and a lesson on how teeth are constructed and used by various Maine animals.
Here’s to the imagination of author Amy MacDonald who creates stories for us all at bedtime and to Maine doctors who encourages us to in turn inspire the imaginations of our children by reading aloud books like Amy MacDonald’s. May our children’s brains all grow healthy and strong and ready to make our minds “believe…stuff.”
Enjoy this slide show of images from the evening and we hope to see you at the next Raising Readers Presents event!