How to help children discover the wonderful world of books – a source of knowledge and treasure to become enthusiastic, lifelong readers.
You may have tangible wealth untold
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can ever be –
I had a Mother who read to me.
~ Strickland Gillian
I could barely sit up when my mum started reading to me. As far as I can remember most of the afternoons used to be just ‘us’ – me and my mum. In all the anticipation of my story time, I would quickly finish lunch; it hardly mattered what I was eating. My legs propped up on her smooth soft stomach while she read those lovely little stories from ‘Thakumar Jhooli’ which, in English literally means ‘Stories from grandma’s sack’. It gave me a sense of security and comfort.
This little half an hour session went a long way in my life; I turned into a voracious reader. Being a single child, books became my closest friend. My mum told me once “if you fall in love with books you would never feel bored or alone” and so it has been.
We ensure that our child eats healthy and takes proper rest. We buy the right size of shoes so that their feet grow straight. We buy the right kind of clothes so that our child is comfortable. But what about the child’s mind – what are we doing to feed their imagination? Are we feeding the endless curiosity that helps a child’s mind grow in a healthy way?
I’ve had my share of walking into bookstores and libraries wondering which would be a good book to pick up for my children. It is quite tricky considering the umpteen choices one has today. Through a series of posts we’ll address this very problem; how can we help children discover the wonderful world of books and turn them into enthusiastic, lifelong readers.
Until then, here’s a simple step you could follow initially: Involve your child, no matter how young, to be a part of the process of selecting a book. This lets the child know that we are interested in their books and more importantly it lets them know that they are important to us. Asking them to pick up a book that looks ‘good’ to them tells that reading is not a chore but something that is enjoyable.
It is just the beginning of many happy hours spent amongst books…