Anyone else learn how to read with the help of Dick and Jane - more specifically by reading the Dick and Jane books? Still to this day they're some of my favorites.

The reason I ask is March 28 is National Children's Picture Book Day. It's a day set aside each year to celebrate picture books that come in all shapes, sizes and genres.

In honor of Picture Book Day, you're encouraged to take a trip down memory lane and read one or two of your favorite books growing up - like the Dick and Jane books.

Teachers will tell you that picture books are usually the first books kids learn how to "read" and usually the gateway to a life long love of reading.

Picture books also have a way of launching a child's imagination to the world beyond - whether it be through a train that could, a curious monkey or a big red dog.

Some of my fondest first grade memories revolve around those early Dick and Jane books - like when we got to take that first book home as "homework."

I can still remember getting home from school and hollering to mom and that I had "homework to do." I must have read that book a hundred times.

Years later came time to read with my own kids. But by that time, the Dick and Jane books were long gone, replaced with a curious monkey and big red dog.

Every night before going bed we had to read a book together. My favorite memories were when the kids were really young we would make up stories by looking at just the pictures.

Like snowflakes, no two stories were ever alike. Some nights the monkey would be getting into mischief and other nights he would be saving a friend in the forest.

One of our all-time favorites to read with "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" It eventually got to the point where we all could recite the book by memory.

So here's an idea, get out those old dusty books you have stored in the attic and re-read those stories - only this time through the eyes of your kids or grand kids.

Re-live those memories and discover that sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words.

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