New picture goes up today on FAMILY VOICES

Hi everyone,

Today I’m posting a new picture on FAMILY VOICES. This one is of Lisa Wakefield, a wonderful retired elementary teacher and wife of my godson, Allen, reading to kids at Christmas. She always read to her own children when they were small. These days you’ll find one of them (Amos) head of editorial at Springfieldl News-Leader and another (Phil) in the English Department at Southwest Missouri State University.

Go take a look at Family Voices at I’m still loolking for new pictures I can post of families reading to their young kids. If you have one to let me share, send it in jpg to Thank you.

New FAMILY VOICES picture going up today

Hi everyone,

I’m loving all the new pictures you’re sending me (in jpg to to post on FAMILY VOICES. Here’s Linda Boyden reading to her grandchildren

And this is Mary Jo Fresch sharing a poem with one of her grandsons.

Today over on FAMILY VOICES ( I’m posted a new picture so I hope you’ll drop over to check it out. If you haven’t started following the site yet, please consider it. If you haven’t sent me a picture I can use yet, please think about that too. And if you haven’t reminded at least one young parent to read to his/her child, I hope you’ll put that on your to-do list as well.

So off I go to choose the picture for this week. Thanks from FAMILY VOICES.

News about this and that

Hi everyone,

It’s good to be back.

Yesterday I posted a new picture on FAMILY VOICES — our good friend Linda Boyden — so I hope you will visit the site to enjoy it and mention it to others. Here’s the link again.

Tomorrow I’m featuring Marjorie Maddox and her two new books, INSIDE OUT: POEMS ON WRITING AND READING POEMS WITH INSIDER EXERCISES and I’M FEELING BLUE, TOO! I hope you will join me for that.

And on the same post, up in the ANNOUNCEMENT segment, you will find the new Word of the Month Poetry Challenge word for August. Don’t miss that!

Family Voices asking for your help

Hi everyone,

I am delighted with the wonderful pictures we’ve been receiving of families reading to their young children that I can post on FAMILY VOICES. Please keep them coming. We need many more so please consider adding a picture to the growing collection. I’ve posted one of the new pictures so far and will post the next one tomorrow so please go look for it and end your support by liking it. Whether you can send me pictures or not, I ask that you visit the FAMILY VOICES site and urge others to start following it too. It’s so important to help young parents remember the significance of reading to their children.

Ozarks Family Voices
July 22 at 12:05 PM ·
To all you moms and dads and grandmas and granddads and big brothers and big sisters and aunts and uncles and everyone else who reads to kids, here’s an invitation. Family Voices is seeking pictures of you sharing a book with a little one that we can post here to show others how it’s done. Send your picture(s) (saved in jpg please) to, along with name of reader, first name of child (not required), and permission to have it posted here to encourage others to read to their children on a regular basis. On behalf of everyone at FAMILY VOICES, thank you!

Here’s a picture of a mother (Anita) reading a book in Portuguese to her son. Wherever we live in the world, reading to our children is a universal act of love and wisdom.

More pictures, please

Hi everyone,

I need more pictures to post on Family Voices ( After the first ask I received some tremendous shots of parents, grandparents, and even a big brother reading to littles. It was a wonderful start, but I want a much larger collection — dozens, hundreds. I want diversity. Please send me pictures of families all over the world, reading to their children. To some who follow my blog — Shan Shanti, Kenneth Tumusiime, Silindile Ntuli-Nxasane, Zafar Rashid, Richard Lungu, Pote Chinavarakul, Zivka Llic, Lupupa Mumba Msisha, Daniela Alejandra Fuentes, Jhadijeaart A. Hassan and many others — if you have pictures you might share, or know someone in your country who can, I extend a special invitation. Closer to home, I invite my gay friends and friends of color to help me present a full story here. Also, please consider following Family Voices to lend your support and widen the circle of potential readers among young parents and those who are in positions of influence.

We can talk until we’re blue about the importance of reading to our kids, but nothing tells it like a good picture. It doesn’t matter who is doing the reading. One mother we recorded for Family Voices brought her small child and his big brother. In broken English she explained that she didn’t read English well but her son did, and so Mama held the little one and looked on proudly while big brother did the reading.

I sometimes state in the post who the people in the picture are (when I have them) though usually I use the picture without identification and add a few words of my own to go with it.

If you have an anecdote of your own about the reading, or a good quote about the importance of reading to children, or supporting evidence in a book, journal, etc., I would love to hear it. Maybe I can use it with the picture. In any case I would like to have the names in case I do use them, and for sure I need permission in writing to allow me to use the picture. Again, many thanks.