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Have you ever watched a beauty pageant where the contestant is asked what she wants, and she says, ‘World peace’? Do you really want world peace? Then read to a child. There is no experience that quite compares with having a little child settle his soft weight on your lap, book in hand. “Read me a story,” he demands as he opens the book. And so you begin. Through the child’s eyes you recapture the wonder you felt when you first read the story. You laugh at the tongue in cheek humor of the Tawny Scrawny Lion, and you sympathize with the trials of the Saggy Baggy Elephant, who turns out to be a perfectly wonderful little elephant, “sags, bags, wrinkles and all.” You cheer for the Little Engine that thinks he can, and smile as the rabbit says goodnight to everything in Goodnight Moon. Later on, as your child gets older, you open The Wind in the Willows. You completely empathize when Mole just has to escape the dark confines of his hole and get out into the bright, warm spring air. You fall in love with Otter, and grin at the irrepressible Mr. Toad. By reading to your child, you introduce them to a wonderful world of imagination and possibilities, a place where anything can happen. You and your child embark on an adventure that will change both your lives and bring a lifetime of enjoyment and learning. It is through reading that we can rise above our roots of poverty, ignorance, prejudice, and hatred. One child at a time (or several, depending on the size of your armchair), one book at a time: real world peace.

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