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In many houses there are mothers bending to bedsides from low chairs reading to a child. The lamp glow embraces two heads in its small circle, lighting words that bound from pages with Jack-in-the-box alacrity, their light escaping the bondage of black print, to pique the child wit. (``Say that word again, Mother, I like the sound.'') Mothers reading --------- (fathers, too, at times. Must not forget the fathers' mothering) -------the gamut. Reaching for old leather bindings holding their own between curled cover paperbacks. Stevenson to Silverstein Mother Goose to Beatrix Potter Brothers Grimm to Dickens, Longfellow, Alcott, Seuss Stacked among so many others, each of whose far-flung lines, like lariats, deftly spun, level, grip, tug at maverick minds. An eight-year-old, having orbited a carpetful of opposing space troops back to their planets, said: ``Going global tonight, heh, Mom?'' seeing Kipling in her hand. Absorbed himself in what she read. It is to be hoped there are many, many houses their content rich with mothers (fathers, too), reading. Steeping childrens' minds to an awakening, even as hushed closing of the cover coincides with sated listener lapsing into sound repose.

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