Monday, 7 October 2013

National Children's Book Week

                             Children's books are more powerful than you may think

It is National Children's Book Week, and so this week I will be looking at Children's books and how to encourage reading with our little ones. It is actually very amazing how powerful children's books are, and more often then not, the books your children enjoy will remain with them for many years to come.

I had a good few books which meant something to me as a child. They were my solace when being bullied, they were my friend when I felt lonely and each book I remember have a different meaning to me. For example, my earliest memory of a book was "Not now Bernard" by David Mckee, which I vaguely remember being read to me at primary school. I remember being given Enid Blytons bedtime stories by my mothers cousin, which led me onto the Faraway Tree and Secret Seven stories. And then there were the stories read to me by a teacher at the school where I was bullied (Mrs Wakefield) who read the Greenwatch series to us each day by Anthony Masters. Those books were my escape from the bad thing I was experiencing and I loved them dearly.

As a children's author myself, I can only dream to leave a mark such as that on a child. To create a piece of writing which means something to a child and would have a meaning to them is really quite unimaginable, but something I really strive to do. Take a think back yourselves.......there must be books you read or had read to you as a child which mean something to you. With many, these books are then passed on to their own children. (My daughter has a copy of Not Now had to be done!!) Sometimes the oldest stories are the best, and passing them down from generation to generation is what books are there for. Once in print, these books are there to spread their message and even if they touch just one child's heart, they are worth it!

The latest craze for weddings is to have passages from children's books read during the ceremony. The favourites being "Guess How Much I love you" and "The Velveteen Rabbit". The reason for this is that children's books explain things like love and friendship in the simplest and fun ways. Where else would a nutbrown hare promise to love another to the moon and back? That is the beauty of a story written for children.

As an aspiring children's author, I hope one day that my book "Mrs Handbag and the magic seed" will be passed down from generation to generation and touch many children for years to come (even if it is only my daughters copy of the book that does so!)

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