Open Sesame. It was with these words that Ali Baba opened up the magic doors which took him to the depths of the mountain and the coveted treasure. In this classic tale, words are powerful enough to break open the rock and reveal the riches.
Reading has the same magical effect; words have a wonderful power to awaken other words, calling them and luring them, opening the sealed doors of thought which give you access to the valuable treasure that lies within.
The magnetic field exerted by words and stories on other words and stories is astonishing; a single world is capable of attracting and generating countless ideas and reflections, some of which we could not have imagined ever finding in that fantastic cavern that is the mind.
Such is the power of stories, such is the power of literature; capable of waking the scariest of monsters or illuminating the darkest of caves. And children are no strangers to this phenomenon; to the contrary, they are fully aware of this evocative power of words that manage to bring to life all of those dormant and hidden ideas, all of those feelings experienced by human beings.
We sometimes forget the great respect that children have for words; the great power that a crazy and funny word, a scary and dark word or an affectionate and loving word holds over them. And it is precisely this evocative power that will make a child enthusiastic about reading. That will take them from one story to another, discovering them and discovering themselves on the way. Filling them with words that frighten, but which also transform, expand, discover and enlighten.
By putting words and stories, spoken or written, within reach of children we are giving them a magic wand to open and close this magic cave, a tool to discover everything that hides within, lying dormant or ready to be discovered inside their minds. And it is only through personal experience, never enforced, that they will be able to discover for themselves the pleasure of the written word and its capacity to evoke, to transform and to regenerate.