Tag archives: reading in the early years

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Children’s and teenagers’ reading: recent news and views

monkey readingI love this picture from a museum in Orvieto in Italy. A great illustration for my latest round-up of reading news and articles.

Finland has just been named as the world’s most literate nation, while the UK is ranked 17th.

The National Literacy Trust has published a new survey about early literacy practices at home.

A poll for International Children’s Book Day revealed that half of parents think reading a book is the best way to develop empathy.

The Reading Agency has launched a scheme to support young people’s mental health through books in public libraries.

Teen author Alex Whale considers whether reading children’s books can help tackle knife crime.

Author Natasha Carthew has written an important piece on the lack of working class culture in children’s books.

Ross Montgomery explores the difficulty and importance of writing diverse children’s books.

School librarian Barbara Band’s blog Reading schemes or reading for pleasure? is well worth a look.

There are good ideas here for promoting reading through the school library.

The Publishers Association is looking to recruit 10,000 ‘reading amabassadors’ to promote reading for pleasure.

Joy Court is very interesting on the impact of the Carnegie and Greenaway awards shadowing scheme on reading.

The shortlist has been announced for the Little Rebels Children’s Book Award.

Teenage reader Ayesha suggests the way to halt the decline in reading for pleasure is to give books a go.

‘The reality of reading to toddlers’ is entertaining and useful.

Finally, an article on why listening to podcasts helps improve reading skills.


Thursday, 27 August 2015

Great picture books for young children about reading, books and libraries

A plea on the invaluable School Librarians Network for suggestions of picture books for EYFS and key stage 1 children that feature reading, books or libraries got me hunting my shelves. I love stories on these themes, and use them a lot on courses and in workshops. It was great to be reminded of books I had forgotten by other librarians too. These all come recommended, as read-alouds and for children to enjoy by themsleves. (Sorry, not all are in the photo.)

IMG_2433Kate Banks, The Bear in the Book
Pascal Biet, A Cultivated Wolf
Jane Blatt, Books Always Everywhere
Richard Byrne, This Book Just Ate My Dog
Emma Chichester Clark, Bears Don’t Read
Lauren Child, But Excuse Me That is My Book and Wolves
Katie Cleminson, Otto the Book Bear
Gillian Hibbs, Tilly’s at Home Holiday
Michelle Hudson, Library Lion
Mick Inkpen, This is My Book
Oliver Jeffers, The Incredible Book Eating Boy
Marni McGee, Winston the Book Wolf
Emily MacKenzie, Wanted! Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar
Anna McQuinn, Lulu Loves Stories, Lulu Loves the Library and Lulu Reads to Zeki
Wendy Meddour, How the Library (Not the Prince) Saved Rapunzel
Judy Sierra, Wild About Books
Lane Smith, It’s a Book
Jessica Spanyol, Carlo and the Really Nice Librarian
Louise Yates, Dog Loves Books

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Latest reports and articles about children’s and young people’s reading

Time for my occasional round-up of reading related reports and articles.

First though, a delightful conversation I overheard the other day in the car park of our local woods:

Dad: Let’s go for a walk.
Little girl: I don’t want to go for a walk.
Mum: Let’s look for the Gruffalo.

All set off happily.

In the light of this, it’s interesting that picture books that tell a story help toddlers learn language more effectively than vocabulary books. A Sussex University psychologist has discovered the best way to aid pre-school children’s language and literacy is to read familiar stories to them again and again – just what children ask for, in fact. New Australian research proves the benefits of reading to children in terms of reading and cognitive skills. It is sad and disturbing however to find that many parents now read to their children not for pleasure but to get them ahead.

Still on the topic of young children and reading, this piece questions whether picture books reinforce materialism.

The other articles that have caught my eye relate to an older audience. Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, has written a thought-provoking piece on the importance of reading for pleasure in the teenage years, and the challenges of making it happen, highlighting, among other things, the role of the school library. School librarian Barbara Band has written a very interesting response. ‘Beyond World Book Day’, in the latest edition of Books for Keeps, also explores how school librarians are promoting reading enjoyment. Librarians and teachers can find further inspiration from this valuable list of 12 alternatives to school book report, and from school librarians’ list of their top 100 titles.

Finally, an important report on improving literacy in secondary schools from Ofsted, with lots of useful ideas for supporting literacy across the curriculum, and yet more on the benefits of good school libraries.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Recommended books for early years

Worth looking at this list of top thirty books for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers on the Made for Mums website. Lots of wonderful books on it – and lots of room for debate informally and in groups about what books other
people would include.

The photo says all that needs to be said about what good picture books offer. Such lovely shared absorption here.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Visit to Oasis Children’s Centre

I am currently investigating good early years and family provision for some courses I am preparing for library, museum and gallery staff, and was invited to visit a story and play session at Oasis Children’s Centre in the London Borough of Enfield. What a wonderful time I had – and so most certainly did all the children and other adults who attended. The children ranged in age from under 18 months to just pre-school, and the morning was structured to appeal to them all, with lots of play, rhymes, music and books. David Pickering, pictured here with just one of his many props, had everyone enthralled. He has been doing weekly sessions at the Centre for three years, and is evidently a great favourite. He told me that his particular focus is on developing children’s language skills, though undoubtedly their social, emotional and creative skills also benefit enormously from his approach. He’s a dab hand on the ukulele. The session included a trip to the library of Oasis Academy next door to listen to some extra picture books. Both there and in the Centre, it was lovely to watch masses of very enthusiastic joining-in.

Many thanks to David, to Josie Layzell from Enfield Library Service, and to Kerry, Marie and everyone else at the Children’s Centre.