Our children once again have access to the timeless fairy tales interpreted by Disney and friends. It is wonderful that the children are excited to read these stories and books, and that they are so easily accessible. In Australia we have a rich tradition of children’s literature and our authors collaborate with some of the most creative illustrators in the world. In children’s books, the story is told with the illustrations as much as the text.

Hot tips!
Here are some hot tips for methods that are certain to make your child interested in words, stories, and develop a lifelong love of literature! The best way to make your child interested in reading is… ta da… read every day!

  • Find a comfy space, turn off distractions, and enjoy a book together.
  • Encourage your child to select the book, if you find you are overwhelmed by choice, visit the library. The children’s librarians are only too pleased to help you and your early-reader find books that you will both love! Most local libraries have pre-school story time as well.
  • When you are reading, try making sound effects, funny noises and silly voices! We know this can be embarrassing, but only your child will be able to hear you!
  • As you read, discuss the pictures, and ask lots of interesting question, e.g. “Where do you think the dinosaur is going?”
  • You might also like to make up alternative endings. E.g. “What would happen if the chicken went with the dog instead?”

There are many things you can do to help your child grow into a strong reader too. For example, look at signs, packaging in shops and other words and pictures when you are out and about. Look at newspapers, magazines and brochures together and talk about what you see, matching words and pictures. Immersing your child in the world of words is perhaps one of the most transformative things you can do in this information age.

Alison Lester is a favourite author of ours, and her picture books mix imaginary worlds with everyday life, encouraging children to believe in themselves and celebrate the differences that make them special. Alison began her career as an illustrator, and has become one of Australia’s popular creator of books for children. Apart from winning the 2005 Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Award for,  “Are We There Yet?” and the 2012 Eve Pownall Book of the Year Award for, “One Small Island”; Alison was also the Australian Children’s Laureate for 2012-2013.

A perfect introduction to the wonderful world of Alison Lester is Clive, and his friends, with the “Clive Eats Alligators” series. We follow the lives of a group of children and from ages one to seven, their individual and unique personalities unravelling hilariously, with each book. The titles are: “When Frank Was Four”, “Tessa Snaps Snakes”, “Rosies Sips Spiders”, “Clive Eats Alligators”, “Ernie Dances to the Didgeridoo”, and “Celeste Sails to Spain”. The books are a series, but each one can be read as a stand alone tale.

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The beautifully delicate watercolour illustrations depict the personalities of the individual children perfectly. The books are also rich in detail, and every child will find something they can identify with from Frank who “Loathes his new haircut”, and Nicky who “Takes a bath in the horse trough”, to Celeste who “Dances in a secret garden”. Finally, the best tip I can give for reading comes from my own Primary School Librarian who said, “Read only on the days you eat.”

Have great week reading,

Jen

Thinkers.inq Learning Leader

 

References:

  • www.alisonlester.com
  • Raising Children Network (Australia) Limited.
  • Murdoch Children’s Research Institute