I really enjoyed Wimborne Literary Festival this year, it had a great variety of events and I really got a lot out of those I attended. It’s great to attend Literary Festivals either as speaker or as a participant and the organisers really work hard at including something for everyone. The thing that I enjoy the most are the events aimed at children. It’s so important to encourage young readers in a love of books. I have my kindle and it’s great to have in my bag for when I’m hanging around, I’ve always got something interesting to read and it’s no weight at all to carry. But it will never beat a real book.
And I think that’s especially so for children; especially the very young, the teeny weeny ones that fumble around the chunky pages of a board book that dangles from their buggies. It’s not the same on a tablet or kindle. It’s a totally different experience sitting with a child on your lap, turning the pages of a book, fingering the smooth, slippy pages, waiting to discover what’s on the next page, where the story will go, what pictures there are left to discover.
Bookstart offers free books for babies and preschoolers. A wonderful, inspirational start to any child’s collection. Bookstart didn’t exist when my children were small but that wasn’t going to hold me back! I signed up to book clubs when I was still pregnant and my children arrived in the world with a substantial bookcase, many of the stories well loved and fondly remembered. Parents themselves now, the pleasure and anticipation of reading to their children awaits them. I think my children are more excited than the grandchildren. But what a wonderful legacy to reread all those wonderful childhood stories, Elmer, Dogger, Brambley Hedge, Peter Rabbit and my favourite, The Tailor of Gloucester.
Start them early, there are some great early readers’s schemes, and as well as Bookstart, there is The Imagination Library . as it’s founder Dolly Parton says about having dreams and going all out to make them come true…
‘The seeds of these dreams are often found in books…’
It’s so important to be able to read, you need to read to make discoveries – you can do that with google but so much nicer to sit down with a book and take your time, meander through the pages, build your own pictures.
Why not support the Books are my bag campaign – don’t forget that Books for Babies are my bag too!
What are you going to buy the child in your life for Christmas? I’ll be plumping for a few oldies intermingled with some fresh new ones for Elsie and Huxley. I’ll keep you posted!