As the birth of every new child has a tendency to do, our daughter changed the way we thought about our lives. No longer would we be alone in this world, living each day with the sun and enjoying every bit, but soon we would add to our family someone more important than either of us will ever be. She would be tiny, wrinkly, and full of potential, and we wanted to give her everything we could. We began to ask ourselves how we could lead our best lives, and for support we turned to our closest family and friends.
Just before her birth, our friends organized a literary-themed baby shower in our daughter’s honor and gifted us with children’s book after children’s book. But the moment our future began to take an unexpected turn was as our friend, Toby, read On the Night You were Born by Nancy Tillman to our closest family and friends who’d gathered around. With only her voice, she brought out the simple beauty of the book, adding sound effects for the wind blowing over oceans and trumpets announcing the baby’s arrival. The whole room fell in love with the book, and we knew if every parent could read in that way, every child would fall in love with reading.
Good stories have always had the ability to captivate — to hold our hearts and imaginations within the spaces of each world — but today, books often lose out to flashier forms of entertainment. A child might overlook a book’s inherent magic simply because it lies hidden between two covers instead of on a screen. Without someone there to guide them through the story and share with them its wonders, a child might never experience everything a book can be. This is why you are important.
Our hope is that whether you are a parent, a teacher, an older sibling, or a caregiver, Novel Effect will make it easier for you and a child to come together around a book and share a memorable moment. We want to help you revisit cherished books from your childhood in new ways and discover new books with your child that they may one day share as a parent themselves.
We know how special the time you spend reading with your own child is, and that you know it’s one of the most important things you can do for them. A child’s passion for reading, and the lifetime of benefits that follow, begins with you; we just put a little magic up your sleeve.
Matt and Melissa Hammersley