From an author reflecting on the power of reading to a love letter to bookshops and a clever literacy program, we’ve been inspired by some truly heartwarming stories and images of reading recently.
An author reflects on the power of reading aloud:
Author Kate diCamillo is currently the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature in the U.S. She wrote an inspiring piece for The Washington Post about the impact of books and reading in her own life:
‘Reading together can happen in a living room or a dining room or in a back yard, in a classroom or in a car…
Within the confines of a story shared aloud, we get to see one another in new ways.
Our hearts are open to the story and open to one another — and because of this,
some kind of subterranean magic occurs. Reading aloud binds us together in unanticipated ways.’
Libromats – laundries with children’s books in South Africa
A study run in Khayelitsha, a township in Cape Town, had shown the benefits of giving mothers eight weeks of training in how to read to their children. The numbers of words kids could understand and vocalise increased significantly following the training.
But how to make that training part of women’s lives?
Mothers and care givers in South Africa can spend up to nine hours a week hand washing! That’s a whole day …
Women are desperate for automated laundry facilities, so ‘Libromats’ would provide a location where women can use washers and dryers while also undertaking a course on book sharing. The courses will teach techniques including pointing at and naming key objects, connecting pictures in the books to familiar things, and taking opportunities to talk about feelings and emotions with their child. (Source)
Books to restore your faith in humanity
We’re adding a few of the titles on Buzzfeed’s list of ’31 books to restore your faith in humanity’ to our must read pile!
We love that the list, which was gathered from suggestions from Buzzfeed’s newsletter subscribers, includes the children’s book Wonder, along with the Harry Potter series and the YA novels If I Stay, Before I Fall and The Messenger (by Australian Marcus Zusak).
Ten-year-old Ruby told Better Reading Kids that Wonder ‘shows that it does not matter what you look like or how much you have, it all comes down to what you have to offer as a friend and what is on the inside.’ And one mum we know says ‘every 11 year old should read Wonder’.
What other books would YOU add to the list? Perhaps The Simple Things by Bill Condon? And – if we’re allowed to nominate books that include animal characters rather than people – Winnie-the-Pooh?
A love letter to bookshops
New Zealand columnist and radio show host Ro Cambridge has written a wonderfully eloquent ‘letter’ about why she so appreciates bookshops:
‘I love you. I love you because you are full of words and people who love words.
I love you because I always feel at home in you. I love you for the company you offer…
because you are a time capsule, a storehouse and a treasure chest. I love you because you are a mirror and a window.
I love you because you are a magnifying glass, a microscope and a telescope…I love you because you are full of voices.
I love you because you are full of listeners…’
A spot of royal watching
And finally, children’s book fairs are not always the stuff of mainstream news stories, so we were charmed to see pics in the Daily Mail showing Crown Princess Mary spending a bookish day with her children The family are seen listening to talks, and Princess Isabella takes time out with her little brother to sit on the floor and read picture books.
What bookish stories are inspiring you at the moment? Please tell us in comments, below.
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