Deb Andries and Her Reading Team
April 2019

We’re espe­cial­ly delight­ed to cel­e­brate with Deb Andries (a.k.a. Gram­my) this month as she launch­es her newest Read­ing Team. Here’s how Deb describes the experience:

Myles, Deb Andries, and Hayes
Myles, Deb Andries, and Hayes, read­ing together

My heart has always felt this “explo­sion of love” when we’ve wel­comed a grand­child into our fam­i­ly. I vivid­ly remem­ber when our grand­son Park­er, now 14, was born, and the pure and ele­vat­ed joy I felt. It was the same “joy explo­sion” with Grayson and Emmy, born four days apart six years ago, and then Fin­ley who is now four. Each of those “lit­tles” is not lit­tle in the uncon­di­tion­al love they share and bring to my life.

Imag­ine how my heart explod­ed when we found out we would be wel­com­ing twin girls into our fam­i­ly! Myles and Hayes, age six months in this pho­to, have con­tin­ued to remind me that my heart grows big­ger and big­ger in love. I didn’t think I’d get the chance to share board books again with grand­chil­dren. I am so glad that my stash (and both my daugh­ters’ col­lec­tions) have been added to our book bas­ket, which has been grow­ing since Parker’s birth!

I also love the newest addi­tions to the book bas­ket: Itsy Bit­sy Spi­der (illus­trat­ed by Emi­ly Ban­nis­ter), My Favorite Book of Col­ors (by Jan­ice Behrens, illus­trat­ed by Joan Michael), and Baby’s Very First Black and White Books by Stel­la Bag­gott. These Usborne “mini” books are just the right size for the girls and the black-and-white illus­tra­tions appeal to their first visions of how they see color.

Usborne Books

While they would rather put the book in their mouth, they will also sit (some­times), both on my lap, and lis­ten to my read­ing voice as I share the bril­liant pho­tos of things they will come to know, love and name for them­selves all too soon. We sing the nurs­ery rhymes, we move our hands with actions – yep, one at a time with hand actions as I only have two hands to help them. We point to the pic­tures, we name them, and we read the book again and again.

Here’s some­thing else I do to sup­port their ear­ly lit­er­a­cy learn­ing. When­ev­er I’m dress­ing them, I always start with their left hand, or their left foot, or left leg, for shirts, socks, shoes, pants, etc. Why, you ask? Because we learn to read from left to right, and if we start with that ear­ly fir­ing of neu­rons to their rapid­ly devel­op­ing brains, we will cre­ate those pat­terns for read­ing. I have also sung to all of my grand­chil­dren as I’m dress­ing them. They hear nurs­ery rhymes and songs so they can “feel” the rhythm, hear the rhyme and put up with my off-key pitch! I want them to know that these tra­di­tion­al rhymes, tried and true, are an impor­tant com­po­nent as I nur­ture their love of reading.

our book basket
our book bas­ket, cur­rent­ly filled with many board books

I love time spent with all my grand­chil­dren in read­ing. It might be the driver’s man­u­al for my soon-to-be 15-year-old grand­son; it might be books online with famous authors shar­ing their works through the COVID-19 school shut­down; it might be that stack of board books just wait­ing to have the pages turned by the newest “lit­tles” in our family.

No mat­ter what comes, we will spend time reading.


Bookol­o­gy is always look­ing for new Read­ing Teams to help us cel­e­brate the joys of read­ing aloud togeth­er. Con­tact Lisa Bullard for fur­ther infor­ma­tion if you’re inter­est­ed in participating.

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4 years ago

Mom, you are sim­ply amaz­ing! You have passed your love of read­ing to so many. Thank you for con­sis­tent­ly being YOU and shar­ing your love of read­ing with the world! I love you! WE ALL DO!!!