Reading is my secret power…what a wonderful theme for the 2019 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book Week for 2019.
Books really do give us powers beyond our ordinary lives. Consider the extraordinary courage of Rabby The Brave, the ghostly world of Catching Teller Crowor the amazing resilience of Mia negotiating the fragility of her family in the story Black Cockatoo.
Books have the power to take us to new worlds via our imagination. They can transport us to strange lands, they allow us to travel to other times, they offer us respite from the ordinary and comfort in our troubles. Books make us laugh, they fill us with deep sadness, great hope and joy. Most importantly they have the power of connection. When we read together or talk about what we have read, we allow books to connect us to each other. Books connect us to the universality of the human condition, especially when we uncover characters that are experiencing similar lives to our own. What power to find ourselves on the pages of the books we read, represented in the characters their challenges and their success, their trials and achievements.
Reading books to our children also has a secret power – it helps us shape our children, and teach them to be tomorrow’s grown ups. Books and stories give parents and carers the opportunity to speak with children about life, people, history, culture, diversity, acceptance, adversity, behaviour and so much more. Books hold enormous power to educate and forge families who find time to read, to listen and to talk about books.
Some really important things to do this book week:
- When selecting a costume for the parade choose a character that began in a book, remember the spirit and purpose of the occasion.
- If you don’t already commit to sharing books as a family daily then start now…the more you read the more you’ll know….
- Talk about the books you read.
- Allow children and opportunity to read along with you using rhyme and word prediction.
- Read and reread the same books because your children love them.
- Encourage even the littlest people to mimic what you do as a reader.
- Make a book collection of known books that they can ‘read’ independently when they climb into bed at night.
- Tell them about the stories you loved as a child. For me it would be a Little Golden Book called The Pokey Little Puppy and Milly Molly Mandy by Joyce Lankester Brisley.
This Children’s Book Week, be aware of the power you hold by reading with your children. Remember that this is a time to truly celebrate the wonderful stories that can both teach and entertain.