Friday, January 06, 2006

Amanda Craig on reading

Amanda Craig writes on teaching your child to love to read for the Times. She begins with the following assumption:
  • Books are not toys; they are much more magical than that, they are windows into the world of story. Children who have learnt to love books are never bored — how could they be, plugged into some of the greatest entertainment of all time? Yet the gulf between being simply able to read and finding words a uniquely rich source of pleasure is vast. This is a burden — or a privilege — that has to fall on parents. By the time a child gets to school, it’s almost too late, especially if school makes the fatal association between work and reading rather than adventure and reading.

Craig suggests specific strategies (and books) for each stage of development in a child's life. Her book recommendations are great and based on the premise that, "only adults are expected to tolerate boredom in books. A great children’s book captures a child’s attention from the first paragraph, and holds it like a vice."

A wonderful, practical article on the joy of children's books.

(Amanda Craig also has a website with recommended reading lists)