Everyone should talk to a seven-year-old booklover. If you haven’t done so lately, enjoy the wisdom of this one named Emma. I interviewed her on Zoom about books. She described with great enthusiasm and in detail the plot and characters of many of her favorite books, but I’ll just share some pithy points she offered about reading in general.
Donna: Why is reading fun?
Emma: You never really know what adventures you’re going to go on next.
Donna: What kinds of stories do you like best?
Emma: One of my favorites is the American Girl book about climate change.
Donna: Oh, tell me about climate change.
Emma: Climate change hurts animals’ habitats. That’s why Earth Day is so important. We have to take care of everything on earth, including the animals.
Donna: Why is reading important to you?
Emma: It’s just really fun. Whenever I see a bookshelf, I get really excited because there’s a bunch of books I can race toward to read. I can’t help it. I love reading so much, I read everything. Even signs. I just like to stop and look around and read the signs.
Donna: How do you think reading helps you in other parts of your life?
Emma: You can read non-fiction books to learn facts. I think reading is the key to learning.
Donna: Is it important that a book have a pretty cover?
Emma: What I’ve heard is that you can’t really judge a book by its cover.
Donna: Do you like to write stories?
Emma: I think reading books that have already been written is more fun.
Donna: Does your sister like to read too?
Emma: (with slight eye roll and laugh): When she reads, she makes up the words.
Donna: How old is your sister?
Emma: She’s four. The problem for me is she asks me to read books to her a lot. Even though my mom says you can’t make people be like you, I want her to love reading like me because it’s so much fun.
Donna: What are some important things you’ve learned by reading?
Emma: Before, I heard that boys could only read books about boys, and girls could only read books about girls. But I figured out and started thinking that no, boys can read about girls, and girls can read about boys and you can even read about things in between.
Donna: Can you name three books that you think everybody should read?
Emma: My most favorite topics are about changemakers. Like girls that are doing something about climate change or brilliant people who make things happen like Martin Luther King, Jr. I’ve read about him a lot and I love his story.
Donna: Any other books you think people should read?
Emma: Fiction books and non-fiction books.
Donna: Have you thought about what you might like to be when you grow up?
Emma: I’ve started to think about my love of animals and that I want to be a vet. Maybe I can be a new kind of vet that travels around the world making all kinds of animals safe. I love giraffes and would like to visit Africa.*
Donna: Any last words about reading?
Emma: I really want people that don’t read to start. It can be so much fun. There are so many books out in the world to be read. Also, you have to be very careful with books because you don’t want to destroy them.
Disclosure: I am related to Emma. Her mother is my niece and her nana is my sister. Many thanks to all of them for making this interview possible.
*Footnote: When I was a little girl, I loved to read, wanted to be a vet, and dreamed of traveling to Africa just like Emma. Though I never became a vet and have yet to have the pleasure of seeing Africa, I still love to read. It’s fun to have that connection to Emma, who is surely bound for success and adventures in life.
And I leave you with Emma’s sister Brooke who reads aloud from my latest book Living Color: Angie Rubio Stories.