Reading Spaces (or The Giving Tree pt. 2)

Kids like to create reading spaces. Remember reading forts, corners, alcoves that you would make with blankets, pillows, chairs, and anything you could find? Flashlights made them even more awesome. And when a make-shift fort isn’t enough, you can make an actual library, as you all saw in the making of Bibliopolis: Minneapolis Branch.

Today’s reading snapshot proves that even the youngest of us can and want to create reading spaces in which we can relax and enjoy our favorite stories. You might remember Ezra from Gracepoint Riverside from the video of Uncle Pastor Ed Kang reading and commenting on The Giving Tree. Apparently he loves this truly sad book, and he likes to enjoy this book during his independent reading times at home.


This is how mom and dad found him. He set this up all by himself! He knows how to get comfy. And he also knows you always need extra books, and a getaway car in your reading space. Just in case.

That smile! It’s not a humorous book in the least, but that’s beside the point. He’s engaged in the story, and he’s creating his own positive reading experiences!

What were/are your or your children’s favorite reading spaces? Share a story below! (Or submit your story by emailing Gracepoint Church Library and maybe it’ll be featured in a future post.) 


Being “All There” When Reading with or to Your Kids

In our go-go-go, “Always On” kind of society, having real quality time with the people we care about most in our lives is a rare thing. Studies show that our kids are being shortchanged the most in all of this. Sadly, they are growing up in a world where to expect face-to-face conversation that is unhindered and uninterrupted by devices, even or especially with their parents, is considered “too much” and unrealistic.

Before I get too carried away with this topic — I want to save it for a review of an amazing book I’m reading right now about this very issue — I will do the “picture is worth a thousand words” thing. I’ll even throw in a video, so that must be worth a few more words! 

There’s a way in which we can turn reading to our kids into a task, something good we know we should do but only one in a long list if things we need to “get done.” We might even have our phones out and check them on the sly. But our kids notice everything. And when we do this, we forfeit a wonderful way to relate with and have a conversation with our kids, and reinforcing this way of always being “somewhere else,” even with our kids, whom we love very much.

Truly reading with or to your kids is an activity that requires a lot of care, wouldn’t you say? (I’m finding a way to connect each week’s photo challenge to reading!) Here’s a picture of Pastor Ed Kang reading to the kiddos during he and Kelly’s recent visit down to our Gracepoint Riverside & Irvine churches.

Photo and video credit to Kelly Kang, who you can tell from the video is trying to get some love from Kaylee on behalf of Anna. 🙂

And here is a video of the actual “slightly” paraphrased reading from Shel Silverstein’s classic The Giving Tree.

The Giving Tree – as read by Uncle Pastor Ed from hemilykim on Vimeo.

I know we all live busy lives, but when you set aside some time to spend reading with or to your kids, I want to encourage you to be *ALL THERE*. That means you’ll have to put away your devices and open yourself to the possibility of some conversation! I promise, your email and text messages will still be there afterwards. 🙂

Do you have any fond memories of reading with your kids? Or being read to by your parents, or others? How about thoughts on The Giving Tree…do you think it deserves all the hype? Share your thoughts!