WHY write a book?

I had the opportunity to reflect on why I wrote my 2013 self-published book, Make Time for Reading – (www.readingfarm.net).

What worked about the final product is that after almost 10 years in development, I was proud of its quality. I did not compromise on book design, (Elizabeth DiPalma, edp@edpdesignplus.com), book illustrations (Peter J. Thornton) and book printing (Universal Wilde, Westwood, Mass). All 3 were top-notch choices. I wanted a beautiful book and I got one.

What I appreciate about my book is that I get to leave something behind. My book is my legacy and it is, thus far, my best work in 45 years of working with families and children.

What inspired me to write the book was our daughter’s personal journey toward becoming a reader. Starting in her infancy I had the distinct privilege of leading her on a path filled with songs, rhymes, chants, crayons, markers, stories, books, word games, and libraries. She mastered reading by first grade and read recreationally like her life depended on it all through elementary and middle school. Fast forward to 2015 where she made the Dean’s list her first year at UMass Commonwealth Honors College; no surprise there.  Her 6-year journey to reading is chronicled in my book in musical rhymes.

What I am committed to is that all children have the opportunity to learn and love to read. This is clear. So clear that at my eulogy (whenever that happens)  …..  this is what I want to be remembered for.

Book cover Make Way for Reading



“Your Baby Can Read” Made False Claims

Attention Parents…

Last April 2011, the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood filed a FTC complaint against a company called “Your Baby Can” and its founder Robert Titzer. The company had reported 185 million in gross sales since 2008 before their doors were forced shut for false advertising. The product in question was “Your Baby Can Read”- a series of flash cards and videos retailing for as much as $200. The CEO of the company agreed to settle the FTC’s charges for $185 million – equal to the company’s gross sales.

With all the excellent research now available to us – there is little disagreement that babies learn best eye ball-to-eye ball, face-to-face. Relationships, not screens are the conduits for learning and language development. We also know the connections in the brain for the FOUNDATION for reading need the first 4 to 5 years to organize and strengthen — at least for most children. Besides, what is the rush to read? When we send our children to kindergarten:

  • knowing their letter names;
  • some letter sounds;
  • phonologically strong; and
  • able to print most of the letters in their names- 

they have the essential tools to learn to read. But more importantly, if we have been reading to them all their little lives, they will learn to love to read too.  For more information on the Federal Trade Commission’s ruling see: http://www.commercialfreechilhood.org.