Our Views: Good advice on reading

In addition to being one of America’s most accomplished novelists, North Carolina writer Clyde Edgerton also has learned a few things about the art of fatherhood. He shares those lessons in his new book, “Papadaddy’s Book for New Fathers. ”

Edgerton offers advice on everything from potty training to head lice, but he stresses the power of reading to children.

“You can’t start reading to a baby too early, even though she won’t know what you’re doing at first,” Edgerton tell readers. “But she will see a book and see pages and see words. And once she understands what you’re doing, the best way to handle some of those sentimental children’s stories is to thumb through the book and say ‘bird’ and point to one. ‘Dog’ and so forth. Before long, you can say the word and the child will point. And that will be big.”

Edgerton’s advice couldn’t be more timely as another summer reading season arrives, and it’s especially welcome here in Louisiana, where high rates of illiteracy have frustrated civic engagement and economic progress.

We hope that people take Edgerton’s words of wisdom on this subject to heart.