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On Lois Lowry's "Look" (from 1997)

March/April 1997 Horn Book Magazine"I never walk past that place without thinking how private, powerful, and memorable a moment it is, in the life of a child, when the shape of letters takes on meaning and a door of the world opens."

It's been twenty years, but I still remember the thrill I felt as I read Lois Lowry's contribution to the The Horn Book Magazine's March/April 1997 special issue (even though, at the time, I was eleven years away from having kids of my own). I was reminded of "Look" this weekend as I attempted to sort through a bin of treasures I had collected during my older son's first year. Along with cards and pictures and detailed notes about feedings and diaper changes (Lordy), I found a Xeroxed copy of Lois's short piece from the Magazine. I'm not sure why I felt the need to include it with his hospital-issued swaddling blanket and locks of hair from his first haircut, but maybe it was a promise to him and to myself. There will be (and have been) lots of ways I'll fail as a parent, but one thing I won't stop trying to do is help him (and his brother) see the world with an open heart and mind. And one key to opening hearts and minds, I think, is a love of books and reading. Take a Look.

Kitty Flynn
Kitty Flynn is consulting editor for The Horn Book, Inc.

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