What the Experts Say on the Importance of Reading to Infants and Young Children

"As President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, I can tell you that pediatricians are acutely aware of the role reading plays in infant brain and child development. We strongly recommend daily reading to children from six months of age."
--Dr. Robert E. Hannemann, President, American Academy of Pediatrics 1996-97.

"My goal is that by the year 2000, giving information about reading to children will be as routine in pediatric practice as giving immunizations. Both are critically important to promoting children's health and well-being."
--Dr. Barry Zuckerman, Chief of Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center, Co-Founder, Reach Out and Read

"If books are part of loving parent-child interactions from an early age, children will associate the presence of books with all of the positive feelings of being held and loved. Undoubtedly, these associations are encoded in a profound way in a child's developing brain. Picture books provide an ideal context for parent-child interactions that are loving and stimulating."
--Dr. Robert Needlman, Division of Behavioral Pediatrics & Psychology, Rainbow Babies' and Children's Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio

"As pediatricians know, growing up healthy means much more than the absence of disease. It means growing up with love and attention, and acquiring spoken and written language. It's exciting to offer a child a beautiful book and watch it do its work, cast its spell.

"Growing up without books is growing up deprived and with a deprivation that puts one at risk for failure...If we want our children to grow up reading, we have to do everything possible, and we have to do it as early as possible."
--Dr. Perri Klass, Medical Director, Reach Out and Read, Boston Medical Center & Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine.