“The fire of literacy is created by the emotional sparks between a child, a book, and the person reading. It isn’t achieved by the book alone, nor by the child alone, nor by the adult who’s reading aloud – it’s the relationship winding between all three, bringing them together in easy harmony” – Mem Fox.
Welcome to The Children’s Book Spot.
Story telling is an art. Everyone loves a good story, but those who are blessed with the skill of story telling are few.
The act of story telling creates a connection between those who tell and those who listen. In addition to linguistic and literary structure, a really good story is told with the senses in mind – visual, touch, sound, and evoking memories of taste and smell. It is by drawing on the senses that the bond created between story teller and listener is more intense.
While most of us are aware of the educational benefits of reading to our children from a young age and encouraging independent readers, we also need to focus on the importance that books play in our lives in creating familial bonds. These connections also reach to the wider community.
Unfortunately, most of us parents are not particularly gifted story tellers – me included (long winded and boring I’ve been told…). Luckily, parents are the centre of their children’s universe and, with a little help, we can learn to use the art of story telling as a way of improving our relationships with our children (with the educational benefits as a bonus!). Children are also not too critical of our story telling abilities.
We are often led to believe that quality time with your kids requires lots of time, stuff and money. On the contrary, it is those activities (like reading your child a book) that only requires a short amount of your undivided attention each day at no cost. This dedicated quality time has much greater emotional and educational reaches than any paid-for and structured children’s activity.
One thing you will always notice when you are in the presence of a good story teller – they visibly enjoy the story they are telling. This enjoyment is contagious. To get the most out of storytime, we must enjoy the books we read to our kids.
Story telling is also about being in the moment. We are starting to learn more about the benefits of mindfulness. Storytime can be your mindful moment. A moment with your children to stop, be aware of each other and together be engulfed in a story. Cuddle up with your kids, a nice warm blanket, lots of eye contact, look at illustrations, make funny voices…
Here at The Children’s Book Spot, I want to reach out to parents and create a community of those who appreciate the act of story telling to our children. I want to share the books I’ve found and used to tell stories to my children. By sharing the books and story telling techniques I and my children enjoy, hopefully I’ll be able to make a connection with you and your family too.