Last July, to celebrate National Children’s Book Day, we asked you to send us your stories about the books that got you started on your reading adventure. Judges had a hard time choosing from among all the entries. The stories varied: some were humorous, some were touching, some were dramatic and some heartfelt.
Over the next few days, we’ll be posting the answers of our 5 winners. To read the first winner (Wennielyn Fajilan), click here.
This week we feature Mark Madrona’s winning entry. To interact with Mark, you can follow him on twitter @marksphere
Thank you and congratulations Mark!
My love for reading began even before I started schooling. At age three, I can already read the title of the newspapers that we sell in our family’s newsstand – much to the delight of our buyers. Mom also made it a point to buy me children’s text like Dumbo, Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach, and many others. Of all the books that I read in my developing years, nothing had influenced me as profoundly as Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, The Places You Will Go!”
I first read it when I was four, and up to now, I still get amazed at how Dr. Seuss was able to inculcate many essential life lessons in a seemingly ordinary-looking short story like that. Undoubtedly, the great author opened up my mind about life’s great offerings. Through this particular book, I discovered the power of reading books to fire up one’s imagination.
The book convinced me that I have boundless personal potential, and that it is absolutely important for me to always believe in what I can do. Lines such as “Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best / Wherever you go, you will top all the rest” motivates readers that success is possible if you have confidence in yourself.
The book not only talks about success. It also prepares the reader about life challenges. Dr. Seuss tells us that “un-slumping” oneself “is not easily done,” but adds shortly after that at the end of the day, “Once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky.” I know that the future will give me plenty of opportunities for success as well as tough challenges. I thank Dr. Seuss not just for making me a lifelong reader, but also for shaping my insights about life early on.