How to Motivate Your Child to Read

There’s nothing better than curling up with a good book. Books can take you on magical adventures, to places unknown and for history buffs, even back to the past. So how do you motivate your kids to read? Keep reading to find out more.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Maurice Sendak Foundation. The opinions and text are all mine.

I remember the very first time I held a book in my hand. I was about 4 years old, and my mother bought an “Early West Indian Reader” that taught very simple words. She would sit with me, and we would go over the words daily, while I practiced sounding out the words, and in turn, learning how to read. When I was finally able to get my hands on books with pictures, my love affair indeed began. As I got older the photos in books disappeared, but my love of reading didn’t.

Fast forward to the present. I’m a big advocate for kids and reading, and there’s an extensive book collection in my youngest’s library. One of our favorite authors is none other than Maurice Sendak. You may have seen the movie “Where the Wild Things Are”, but it was actually based on the bestseller by Maurice himself. I actually have a collection of his books including, “One Was Johnny” and “Alligators All Around”. Can you tell that I’m a HUGE fan?

So you can’t begin to imagine how excited I was when I heard that there were an unpublished manuscript and illustrations for an unreleased book called “Presto & Zesto in Limboland“. It was discovered years after Maurice Sendak’s passing and finally published on September 4th by HarperCollins. It was a must have for our library. Maurice wrote this book with his dear friend, Arthur Yorinks and it is an homage to their longtime friendship and uses their nicknames for one another (Presto = Arthur, Zesto = Maurice).

We’ve all had a best friend that we do almost everything with. Madison has a best friend Akemi, and they’re practically inseparable. It also helps that she lives only 3 houses away. They can be seen riding their bikes, playing with dolls and just having fun, just as every child should. The very first thing Madison says as soon as homework is done and she’s had a snack is “I’m going to see if Akemi is home”. I call Akemi my third daughter because of how much time she spends at my home.

That’s why we thoroughly enjoyed Presto & Zesto in Limboland. This marvelous tale tells the story of two friends, Presto and Zesto, who were so upset that there wasn’t any cake for lunch, paid no attention to where they were going and ended up lost in the magical, mysterious place called Limboland.

Sendak created the illustrations in 1990 to accompany a London Symphony Orchestra performance, and 7 years later, the two friends threaded the pictures together with the book’s narrative. Now you can keep the legacy of one of the most important children’s authors of the 20th century alive by sharing his art and stories with your friends and family.

However, I also want to share 3 tips on how you can motivate your child to read.


Set aside a quiet time where either your child or you both can read together. When you set an example showing your own love of reading, your child will come to enjoy reading along with you. After all, children love to imitate what they see. However, don’t push and nag and let it be a fun time, and remember to praise your child for doing a great job.


Having a variety of books around your home and having your child know that they’re available will allow your child to see them as a part of life. It’s a good idea to have a library for your child with some of your favorite authors.


You’ll have a good idea of which books your child will like after reading with them, but a good rule of thumb is the classics such as Maurice Sendak’s books. Funny books and books with illustrations are great for younger kids, but you can also have your child pick out a few on their own.

You can pick up a copy of Presto & Zesto in Limboland on Amazon or support an independent bookstore like Battenkill Books in New York.

You can also visit to learn more about the Maurice Sendak Foundation.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Maurice Sendak Foundation. The opinions and text are all mine.

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