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Richard Jorgensen, Author; Warren Hanson, Illustrator
Reading with Dad

"The best of the best times that Iíve ever had are all of those times Iíve spent reading with Dad."

All of us have childhood memories of learning to read. All of us know the importance of spending time with our children as they grow and learn. Reading With Dad, written by Richard Jorgensen and illustrated by Warren Hanson, is a book that brings focus to the joys and love of reading, and honors dads spending time with their children.

In a time of broken marriages, and shut-out dads, Reading With Dad is a book that celebrates what should and could be. It demonstrates the power of time spent together over the years, and the rewards that await both father and child.

The story also carries us on a journey through the cycle of life, as one generation sets an example for the next.

Whether parent or child, teacher or student, neighbor or friend, Reading With Dad has a powerful message for us all.

"My hope about this book is that it encourages parents to be aware of the importance of reading to their children --but I hope especially that it encourages fathers to have a special relationship with their children." Richard Jorgensen

All Ages

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Richard JorgensenRichard Jorgensen describes himself as a "father-in-training" who has almost completed the course. "Our oldest daughter is 23, our youngest is 17. I figure that in four more years Iíll be an expert dad!" The idea for Reading With Dad developed out of a long-time (and continuing) pattern of reading with his daughters, Beret and Anna, "From Dr. Seuss to Jane Austen."

"As my daughters got older, we discovered the fantasy adventures of J.R.R. Tokien, C.S. Lewis, and Madeline LíEngle. One day when she was about 13, Anna and I were reading at the kitchen table when the phone rang. Anna answered--a call from a friend. I only heard her side of the conversation, but to the obvious question "What are you doing?í she answered, "Just reading with my dad." I was struck by how open and unabashed she was about engaging in what might, to some teen-agers, have seemed a rather uncool pastime. The idea for the story emerged at that moment."

Richard and his wife, Caryl, a musician and teacher, have been married for 30 years and live in Faribault, MN, where he is senior pastor of First English Lutheran Church. He has also served parishes in Minneapolis and in Anchorage, Alaska. In an unusual twist of timing, Richard, a graduate of Augustana College and Luther Seminary, entered the University of Minnesota after receiving his theology degree to pursue a degree in elementary education. "Working with children--and especially childrenís literature--became an increasingly strong interest of mine," he says, "and, although I knew I wanted eventually to be a pastor, I felt that this other Ďcallingí was something I needed to follow for a while. And I loved my years of teaching. I sometimes feel as though my experience with those second and third graders was some of the best training in ministry that Iíve received." After teaching for two years, Richard was ordained in 1976.

Richard enjoys singing and hiking with friends and family. He has backpacked in California, Wyoming, the Black Hills of South Dakota, and has traversed the historic (and rugged) 1898 Chilkoot Gold Rush Trail in Alaska four times.