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The Globe and Mail, To mark International Children\'s Book Day, asked celebrated author Tim Wynne-Jones
for tips on feeding the reading gene.
How do you put words into your children\'s blood? Talk to them. Read to them. Not just their books but delightful passages from yours, from magazines, from the newspaper. Keep reading to kids until they close the door on you. Then whisper through the key-hole that sprag isn\'t really an adjective, it\'s a chock or a steel bar used to prevent a car from running backwards on an incline, but it could describe a mountain bike if you wanted it to. Take every opportunity to lower the bucket into the well. Be the well. Give your kid an education mazuma can\'t buy. \"
When I was a kid in public school I believed that all the words came from Mr. Winston\'s red dictionary with the airplane on the cover. (Except the taboo words you heard in the playground; those words were far too feral to get trapped in a book.) Then we did The Mikado in Grade 7 and to my surprise I couldn\'t find a snicker snee in Mr. Winston\'s dictionary, or pestilential or tutelary, for that matter, or half the other words we gobbled up in learning the deliciously inane and abstruse lyrics. I began to suspect that Sir Gilbert wasn\'t reading off the same page as Mr. Winston.
And that was a good lesson to learn. Words don\'t come from a dictionary, they only hang out there, and only some of the words. Each dictionary is more like a tree of varying loftiness, a perch of many branches upon which tens of thousands of migratory meanings alight, some for just a season, some for ages, but none forever. Language is a work in process; prone to mutation and transformation, a borrower and a lender. I \"