Editorial: Read Across America, Penguin Random House Book Fair highlight importance of reading to kids

This Saturday would’ve marked the 115th birthday of Theodor Geisel, better known to parents and children across the world as author Dr. Seuss. And since 1998, the occasion has been marked by the National Education Association as Read Across America day.

More than two decades later, Dr. Seuss’ birthday is still celebrated with elected officials, community leaders and local celebrities visiting schools, libraries and day cares across the nation to read some of their favorite Seuss stories to children to encourage reading and show them how much fun it can be.


Carroll County will be celebrating reading and Seuss’ birthday with two popular events this weekend that attempt to carry out that same mission, while also offering something for grown-ups.

The Penguin Random House Book Fair kicks off Friday afternoon at the Babylon Great Hall of Carroll Community College, with discounted book sales on thousands of titles from 3 to 7 p.m. and again from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, with select children’s books offered for free on Saturday while supplies last.

Also Friday, there will be two screenings of “Ralph Breaks the Internet” in the theater in the Scott Center of the college, with tickets for just $3 per person. There is also an author talk starting at 7 p.m. Friday with Jamie Ford, who penned “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet,” an historical fiction tale 10 years ago. Tickets, which are $15 and include a copy of the 10th anniversary edition of the book, can be purchased online at or at any branch of the Carroll County Public Library.

Saturday at the book fair begins with a photo op, not with the Cat in the Hat but rather the Lynx in a T-shirt. The Carroll Community College mascot will make its first public appearance at the book fair taking photos with fans from 9 a.m. to noon. A host of other activities will take place throughout the day, including book talks, writing workshops, children’s story times, a wonders of science show and an improv workshop, while visitors browse books for sale and bid on items in the silent auction.

Before you satiate your appetite for knowledge with all these books, stop by the Read Across America event at TownMall of Westminster for a free breakfast of green eggs and ham in honor of Dr. Seuss at 9 a.m. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the event — which is sponsored by the Carroll County Education Association — will also have face painting, games and a magician, all themed around Seuss’s books. A free book will also be available there for youth in attendance.

Reading is so important to a child’s development, helping them to develop language and listening skills and stimulating their mind and imagination. Research has shown that children do better in school when parents read to them at a young age and when older children read regularly themselves.

As Dr. Seuss once said, “Reading can take you places you have never been before.”

While Read Across America is only one day, we encourage parents to find time to read to kids every single day and encourage their older children to read at least 15 to 30 minutes daily. And it doesn’t necessarily matter what they read. Find something they enjoy so that reading isn’t viewed as a chore.

For children who aren’t interested in reading, fun events like the Penguin Random House Book Fair or Read Across America at TownMall can help spark that interest. We’re thankful for the businesses and organizations that put the effort into these events to spread the joy of reading.