The purpose of the First Lady’s READ20 Book Club is to give Tennessee families a fun goal of reading together with their children for 20 minutes every day. One book will be selected each month as the featured “Book of the Month,” but we encourage you to continue reading other books after you’ve finished our featured book.
The book club is for children and families of all ages! Whether a fifth grader reading independently, or a younger child being read to by an adult or older sibling, the featured books will appeal to a broad group of elementary-aged children and their families.
It's springtime and curious Mole, bored with housework, leaves his molehill to explore. At the riverbank he meets Rat, a laid-back water rat. The two quickly become friends and Rat introduces Mole to the exuberant Toad, a creature with an inclination for extravagant hobbies. Toad’s increasingly wild amusements cause concern for Rat and Mole, and they enlist the help of wise Badger. The four friends are always having exciting adventures, and their friendship is only enhanced by their differences.
Dear READ20 Book Club Families,
Stories about friendship and adventure can always be fun to read. The Wind in the Willows was first published more than 100 years ago, and, more than a century later, the book continues to capture readers' attention. Kenneth Graham began this book as a series of bedtime stories written especially for his son, and he uses detail and humor to share the story of four friends — Toad, Mole, Rat, and Badger.
Toad, Mole, Rat, and Badger encounter all kinds of adventures exploring their environment. With spring beginning in March, it is exciting to think about spending more time outdoors. At the Tennessee Residence, we look forward to planting our kitchen and cutting garden with lots of spring vegetables this month. Gardening and playing in the backyard or driveway can be great activities to enjoy the season. We have also launched an exciting opportunity for students and families to explore the gardens and grounds at the Tennessee Residence, and we hope you might be able to visit. We offer free tours of the home and grounds, as well as special programs for students including hands-on activities in the garden.
Thank you for your commitment to reading, and I hope you enjoy reading about the adventures of Toad, Mole, Rat, and Badger.
First Lady of Tennessee
Reading is the basic tool for success in school, work, and life and must be promoted early in childhood. The First Lady’s READ20 Book Club encourages Tennessee children and families to read aloud each day to help young children develop a larger vocabulary, a longer attention span, better listening skills, and a solid reading foundation. Reading together will also build stronger relationships and will be fun.
Research demonstrates that reading with a child during the preschool years has a ripple effect which positively impacts the child, the family, the schools, and society as a whole through increased economic development, reduced special education, and reduced criminal justice costs.
1 Anderson, R.C., Wilson, P.T., Fielding, L.G. (1988). “Growth in Reading and How Children Spend Their Time Outside of School,” Reading Research Quarterly, 23(3), pp. 285–303.
2 National Institute for Literacy, 1998. [(Arizona Republic (9-15-2004)].
3 U.S. Department of Education.
5 National Adult Literacy Survey, (1002) NCES, U.S. Department of Education.