Reading is one of my biggest loves, and I am rarely to be found without a crumpled paperback nearby, ready to snatch it up for a few minutes of escapism whenever I can.
Passing this love onto my children is really important to me, and our house is overflowing with children’s books, bolstered by weekly visits to the library for something fresh. (Although of course the toddler likes the same book over and over again…I could read ‘What the ladybird heard’ blindfolded!)
When they are little it is easy to engage them in books, but it can sometimes be more of a struggle as they get a bit older. I have hit bumps in the reading road with both my older two.
My daughter struggled to make the leap between picture books and chapter books, the key for us in the end was finding books that offered both. In our case it was the Clarice Bean books, fab stories with lovely illustrations crawling throughout the text.
With my elder son, who is now ten, the path to chapter books was smoothed by the lucky discovery of a series of Super Mario adventure books that I managed to acquire second-hand. They were the ones where each page ended with a choice of action which determined where you went next, and he loved them.
My second bump with the ten year old chap came a few months ago. We had finished our latest novel together, and he just couldn’t get interested in fiction anymore, a common thing in boys by all accounts. We are now ploughing our way through the Science Museum books, currently learning about the universe – and it is educational for both of us. I really do think that with the right encouragement and the right book, there is a reader lurking inside all of us, sometimes you just need a little inspiration to get you started!
I love the work The Scottish Book Trust are doing to encourage a love of literature in children. They are Scotland’s leading agency for the promotion of literature, reading and writing. The organisation works with writers, children, teachers, librarians and readers from all backgrounds to spread a love of books and reading.
They have been assisted in this aim for the last 14 years by Scottish Friendly (find them on Twitter here), who have been running a book tour that takes the very best UK and international authors directly into schools across Scotland and England to inspire a love of reading, writing and illustration and reaches on average 6,000 children every year. For more information about upcoming tours as well as videos of past events check out the following pages:
This years authors include Malorie Blackman – an author my now teenage daughter adores, Chae Strathie – best known in our house as the illustrator of Aliens Love Underpants, but also the author of his own books as well as an incredible artist, and Nicola Davies – former presenter of the Really Wild Show and zoologist who has written a variety of fiction and non-fiction books for children.
In my past career as a bookseller, I was lucky enough to attend Author events regularly, and the ones with children’s authors were always brilliant and a really great way to engage your children with books, so I really believe that tours like this offer substantial benefit.
Right, am off to read Dinosaurs Love Underpants for the fourth time so far today, what are your favourite children’s reads?
Love Miss Cisco XXX
Disclosure; This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own.