Sponsored guest blog by Kirstie Mahony of Storybeans
Most people would agree that reading and telling stories to your children is important. These activities help children to grow in so many different ways, impacting upon language development, imagination, even fine motor skills as children work out how to use their little hands to turn pages.
But why, oh why, do children keep asking to hear the same story again…and again….and again?
Actually, there are reasons. Experts in reading development, such as Margaret Meek, find that a child may read a book, get to the end, and find that there is something that they don’t quite understand, an unanswered question. So they want to read the book again, and again, until they understand the new concept or word that they are grappling with. Or a familiar story or character might become an emotional comfort blanket in an ever-changing world.
Having said that, as an adult, reading the same picture book to your child over and over again to your child can get a bit, well, repetitive. So here, in time for World Book Day, are Storybeans’ top 5 picture books that are (almost) as much fun to re-read as an adult as they are for a child.
1. Oi, Duck-billed Platypus! By Kes Grey and Jim Field
Part of the Oi, Frog! series, and you do have to read Oi, Frog! first to get the most out of Oi, Duck-billed Platypus! Oi, Frog! is amusing, it made me smile, but Oi, Duck-billed Platypus! is howlingly funny. The first time I read it, I had to stop reading because I was laughing so hard (while the children looked at me as if I was mad).
2. Alfie Gets in First By Shirley Hughes
Or anything by Shirley Hughes, really. The stories are so comforting, and the pictures are so beautiful, you could look at them for ever. And as an adult, you will recognise many of the characters, from the fussy Mrs MacNally who somehow always manages to get involved in every crisis, to the slightly harassed parents trying to juggle everything.
3. Where the Wild Things Are By Maurice Sendak
Fantastically surreal. So much to think about – Do the Wild Things exist or are they all in Max’s imagination? How long is Max in the land of the Wild Things for? – And who wouldn’t want to join in with the Wild Rumpus?
4. The Snowy Day By Ezra Jack Keats
Another beautifully illustrated book. It deals with a range of emotions – excitement, disappointment, anxiety – in such a lovely way. It will take you right back to the excitement of being a child yourself on a snowy day.
5. Nightlights By Lorena Alvarez
One for older children, this, more of a graphic novel really. It feels as if there is a message behind it, but you may well need to re-read it several times before you are certain as to what the message is. And if you talk about it, your interpretation is bound to be different to everyone else’s.
A Little Bit about Storybeans
Storybeans is a drop-in, weekly, interactive storytelling session for 0-5s, coming soon to Littlemore. As well as some fantastic activities for children, the sessions include some delicious homemade biscuits or cakes and tea or coffee. There will be some free trial sessions in July, so look out for future blogs with dates, times and locations!
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