Brownsville resident publishes children’s books to spark love for reading - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Brownsville resident publishes children’s books to spark love for reading

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Posted: Sunday, October 13, 2019 8:30 pm

A translation and interpreting professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley published three children books to encourage families to start reading together.

The books “My name is Juana, and this is How I Became a Poet,” “My name is Jose Pedro, and this is How I Became a Reformer,” and “My name is Jose Gervasio, and this is How I Became Uruguay’s Hero,” are three illustrated biographies in Spanish about inspiring people from the author’s home country. From Uruguay, Gabriel Gonzalez Nuñez hopes children learn to love reading read since a young age because eventually when they grow up they will read things that will change their lives.

“I have two small girls and one of the things that I do when I put them to bed every night is that I’ll read a story to them. We have a really big collection of books at home and I would read these stories to them and a lot of these were biographies like Gandhi and Malala, all these people that are influential and inspiring somehow, and I really thought ‘I wish I could them stories about the people that I looked up to as a kid, growing up somewhere else,” he said sitting in his office. The three colorful books were on display on top of a bookshelf on his right side.

An avid reader himself, Gonzalez holds a BA in Spanish Translation, a JD Law Degree, an MA in Translation and Intercultural Studies and a PhD in Translation Studies. He said is essential to expose children to reading so they can pick up the love for books once they’re grown.

“If kids can start loving to read, then eventually in their life they will read things that will change their life and to me it is about getting them on that path and of course there are several studies that link reading and children to success later in life,” he said.

The author said he gets the impression the growing generation don’t read as much and that it will eventually affect them in their careers because there are certain jobs that one can’t do without having the habit of reading. H e said people are in “quick digest mode” and don’t like to read actual books.

“The impression I get from talking to colleagues, here and from another universities, is that the growing generation isn’t reading as much and when they read they’re not used to doing the heavy lifting, sort of the engaging reading where you’re analyzing what you’re reading and you’re concentrating for a long time. Because without that habit, there are certain jobs you can’t do professionally and translating and interpreting is one of them,” he said. “My concern is that, nowadays, we are so in this like quick digest mode and immediacy and nobody has time for something that’s longer than a tweet, so yes, people are reading but they’re not really used to reading ideas that get developed over paragraphs or pages or sometimes an event book and it is in these long reads where ideas get developed.”

The translation professor encourages parents to read to their kids at least a few times a week and always have books available for them in the house. He added it is also important to limit the time children spend with electronic devices.

For more information about the books, visit gabrielgonzaleznunez.wordpress.com.

“Reading you don’t pick by osmosis,” he said. “If you don’t read to your kids, they won’t pick up the love for reading, ever.”

nreyna@brownsvilleherald.com

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