Let’s start with the young child and the picture book which is actually critical in the role of a child’s development.
Books are so precious and in many ways provide a looking glass for the young child into the big wide world.
They act as a barometer for the times in which we live and for me there is nothing more lovely than to see the pleasure on a child’s face as they eagerly turn the pages. Quote, my own youngest granddaughter – ‘nanny, let me do it!’
I find it disappointing when parents all too often sit their children in front of a television or computer screen whilst they busy about their household chores, instead of enjoying that quality time turning the pages of a book. OK I’m not perfect – yes I’ve done it on occasions, but essentially I’m still a bookie. The chores can wait. Children grow up whilst were not looking. I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase.
I know that books tend to be linked with bedtime but I really believe it’s also important to set aside time during the day to browse. To schedule in plenty of story time sessions and enjoy our children, who are almost always eager to join in and give feedback on their own experiences and opinions.
I have realised how much young children love to hear stories about themselves and as they get a little older they are eager to hear about our childhood and the things we did. Some of my fondest memories have been of my own father who loved to tell stories about animals. Working with a publishing house, I now have the privilege of adapting those stories as picture books and I’m going to call the series, Grandpa’s Tales.
Actually the first one, a tale about Finn and Limm – two little frogs – has just been released on you tube pending going to print. Oops! What did I say about too much time in front of the computer? Well, all things in balance. And, actually I’m desperate to tell my own stories. Notably no two people read a story in the same way and dare I say, no one reads it quite like the author. Of course!
That’s why I love to do school visits and story time at libraries and events.
As far as the picture book goes it’s never too soon to introduce the young child to one. To use the opportunity to teach them about appreciation and respect for books. To take care of them and of course not scribble or draw in them. Even if they can’t read or don’t want you to read to them children enjoy the illustrations – introducing them to a love of art – whilst stimulating the mind, the thought process and emotions, as they often eagerly make up their own story. We know that young children have short memories but remember something told in a fun way, or centred around a character.
OK so here’s a plug for my own picture book series, Rianbo’s Travels.
Primarily for age 3-7 years, I thought it quite amusing when my older granddaughter who is actually going on 11 said, ‘nanny I love these books. I’m learning so much. Where will she go next?’
Awh! Thanks Zaina. Where would you like her to go next?
Yes, Rianbo is a traveller and the world is a big place. I won’t say any more about the books as you can check them out yourselves on sharonhousepublishing.com.
So here’s a few pointers for story time if you’re a new mum. They seem obvious but…..!
• Make sure the children are comfortable and have been to the toilet.
• Make sure they can see the book and the illustrations clearly.
• Let them ask questions, but don’t allow them to interrupt the flow of the story.
• Use the style that you are comfortable with, different voices body language etc.
• Cultivate the right environment and get rid of other distractions or possible interruptions.
• If you enjoy the book, the children will.
Enjoy your story time.
Love to children everywhere