Behind the Scenes of My Favorite Book (December 2007) - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Behind the Scenes of My Favorite Book (December 2007)

College basketball coaches and players, along with a World Series Pitcher, are featured in the latest Success By 6 "My Favorite Book" spots airing on KHQ.

June Daugherty, the new Head Women's Basketball Coach at Washington State University, is the mother of 13-year-old twins. But the days of reading to her children when they were small seem just like yesterday.

"One of my favorite books that I've always shared with my children, Doc and Brianne, is ‘The Rainbow Fish' (by Marcus Pfister) because it's all about sacrifice and giving, and it's a great book," Daugherty said. "One of the most memorable parts of this book is how the rainbow fish starts out with all these scales, these beautiful scales, and ends up giving them away and making friends and not being selfish anymore."

Daugherty and her husband Mike, the Cougar Women's Associate Head Coach, are already seeing the dividends of reading to their children while they when they were younger.

"My husband and I read to our kids from day one, and they're avid readers now. I can't say enough how important it was to share books early on," she said. "They love to read now- it's really exciting to see that."

Daugherty, who took over the Cougar Women's Basketball Program this year, has even used the lessons in "The Rainbow Fish" to encourage her college players.

"You know, I've been a college coach for 24 years, and I have had my college players read this book. It's made a difference in their lives. Find out why - it's a great book."

When Washington State University Head Basketball Coach Tony Bennett gets his young children ready for bed, he and his wife Laurel reach for a copy of "Guess How Much I Love You," by Sam McBratney.

This story of the immeasurable love between a parent and child is a nighttime favorite of his daughter Anna and son Eli.

"My wife and I read to our kids most every night, and this book has become a favorite because it talks about the depth of love and how much you love your family," he explains.

The last line of the book is ‘I love you right up to the moon- and back.' And it's become something of a bedtime send off for the Bennett kids.

"It's a saying we have at night before we go to bed where we say to them ‘to the moon' and they say ‘and back.' And they'll repeat it, and that means just how much, much love there is."

Coach Bennett remembers his mom, dad and older sisters reading to him as a child. It's a legacy he wants to pass along to his children, even with his hectic coaching schedule.

"It really is a special time that we can be together. With my schedule, I'm gone a lot, but we cherish that time together. They seem to enjoy it, and it's a way to quiet them down before they go to sleep," he says with a smile. "Reading is the foundation to learning, and you just can't beat the special time with your children before they go to bed."

WSU Men's Basketball Player Kyle Weaver chose Robert Munsch's sentimental book ‘Love You Forever' as his favorite book from childhood.

"The message of this book is about love," the 6'6" senior guard said. "A mother takes very good care of her son, and as he grows up to be a man, he does the same for his kids."

Weaver grew up with parents who emphasized the value of reading.

"When I was young, my mother and my father read to me a lot, and they encouraged me to read on my own as well," he remembers. "Those times were important when my mom and dad read to me, because like this book, the message of love was important to me, and knowing that they loved me was special."

Colorado Rockies World Series Pitcher Jeremy Affeldt and his wife Larisa recently had their first child, a baby boy named Walker. When it came time to choose a favorite book they like to read to their son, their pick was the classic "Goodnight Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown.

"I just think it's a simple book with bright colors and he seems to really enjoy it and pay attention," said Affeldt, who grew up in Medical Lake and graduated from Northwest Christian High School. "Hopefully, at a young age, we can get him to understand how important it is to read."

"I think it's very important that parents read to their kids, even when they're months old," he said. "If we start them at an age to get them into habits with reading and seeing us reading, it will hopefully encourage them as they get older to continue reading, and know how important it is for them to gain wisdom in life."

This first time father is eager to set an example for his young son, and is quick to encourage other dads to take time to read with their children.

"It's very important dads, that you read to your sons and your daughters. It's a good time to bond and hang with your children and teach them wisdom, and just have a good time with them."

Gonzaga Basketball forward Abdullahi Kuso's favorite book as a child was the tale of two brothers called "Tikki Tikki Tembo" by Arlene Mosel.

"It's about a boy with a really long name and his brother, and it's based on the Chinese tradition," Kuso explains. "I just remember the long names in the book and I thought they were funny at that time and I still do."

Kuso grew up in Nigeria with two older brothers, and has very fond memories of attending school there.

"I always looked forward to going to school, because it was a lot of fun for me," he remembers. "My favorite part of school was having my teacher read to me. I thought that was a lot of fun and she was like a mother away from home."

He encourages parents to spend time reading with their young children. "Reading is the basis of education and I think it's very important for parents to read to their kids."

Gonzaga Women's basketball player Michelle Elliott remembers "Quick as a Cricket" by Audrey Wood as her favorite book as a child.

"It was something my mom read to me as a child, and I really liked all the descriptive words in it," said the 5'11'' senior guard, who grew up in Pasco, Washington. "The book is about a boy who is trying to discover who he is. It talks about all the emotions and active words that go along with different animals, and it basically turns out describing who he is."

Elliott recalls several of her family members reading to her when she was a young child. "I remember my mom and my dad, and my older sister reading to me and my twin sisters a lot. Any chance she had, my sister would always read to us in bed before we fell asleep."

"I think it's really important to read to your child every day, because it sets up that strong foundation that they need in school that will carry on with them later on in life," she said.

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