The selection of today’s Thoughtful Thursday offering, “The First Book” by the celebrated poet Rita Dove, was inspired by yesterday’s post about LeBron James’ wonderful new IPromise public school in Akron Ohio. The school is designed to inspire middle school students who are performing below their grade levels. Helping them with reading skills will surely be an important part of the curriculum. This delightful poem reminds us of the magic that happens when reading clicks and you get lost in a great book.

This poem is fun to read aloud with your sons and daughters, fun to talk about. Do you remember when you first discovered the pleasure of reading a great book? How about when you first read a great poem? Enjoy.

The First Book

Open it.

Go ahead, it won’t bite.
Well…maybe a little.

More a nip, like. A tingle.
It’s pleasurable, really.

You see, it keeps on opening.
You may fall in.

Sure, it’s hard to get started;
remember learning to use

knife and fork? Dig in:
you’ll never reach bottom.

It’s not like it’s the end of the world –
just the world as you think

you know it.

Rita Dove