At the beginning of September, we were very proud to hear of the publication of 6 children’s book written by Ms. Truc, our legendary Librarian. These books are from the series “Educate young children’s imagination”, a project that Ms. Truc has conceived during her time at BVIS, and one she feels very committed to.
As someone who enjoys reading and is passionate about literature, as well as is a dedicated librarian and an excellent storyteller, Ms. Truc knows and promotes the importance of engaged reading from a very young age, because it helps fostering creativity and imagination in children, which in turns has a positive effect on their academic ability and achievement.
These insights inspired Ms. Truc to write and publish her book series “Educate young children’s imagination”, because being a parent herself she feels it is very valuable to stimulate children’s minds through reading. The series have been released by The Publishing House and are stories that are closely intertwined with children’s real-life experiences, and therefore children can identify with characters and relate to them easily.
1. Why were you so committed to this children books’ series?
There were two main reasons why I conceived the idea for the “Educate young children’s imagination” book series. Through my manifold experience of researching, and selecting children’s books for funded educational development projects, and now for BVIS students in my role as the school’s Librarian, I realised that we don’t have a good selection of Vietnamese children books with a strong educational focus in Vietnam. I felt that this was a shame, and decided to do something about it. I asked myself “I know what I want to do, but how can I make it happen?” In 2012, I wrote more than 20 book outlines, but it only got as far as my personal draft journal. The crucial next step was to introduce my proposals to my friends from the publishing company, which felt unsettling because it was doing something away from my much-loved job at BVIS.
Each day I get to see BVIS students reading different stories, being fully engaged with the books’ narrative content and also being very excited about the illustrations in the books. Children get completely absorbed in the imaginary world of the story. I love listening to children’s interpretation of stories that they share with me after reading a book they loved, and I am very happy to hear them laughing when they read a funny story, and to watch them emphasise with characters when they read a moving emotional story. I also felt that BVIS teachers and students would welcome a series of engaging stories in Vietnamese, and therefore I felt inspired to work on the series for their benefit too. I also need to acknowledge the recognition and support I received from The Publishing House, and the contribution of a very talented, enthusiastic illustration artist who helped me with pictures for the stories; – without them this book series would have not been possible.
2. What is unique about this book series “Educate young children’s imagination”?
There are three unique foundation principles that this book series builds upon: A simple story line appropriate for young age, beautiful illustrations that help to inspire children’s imagination, and a range of additional surprise elements to stimulate children’s curiosity.
3. What was the biggest challenge you faced in the process?
I was afraid of just recycling the same ideas from other children’s books, and not offering anything original and unique. Another challenge was finding a shared vision with the illustration artist to ensure that my ideas are realised according to my vision. And simple things like finding time, managing time, and identifying and using quiet and positive spaces for writing.
4. How can parents and teachers make a good use of this book series?
Parents and teachers shouldn’t think that it is enough just to read the story to their children. Sometimes illustrations speak a thousand words, but you still need to contextualise the story for your children. We could help our children to use their imagination in a creative way through using simple things around them in an engaging manner, from a hole at grandpa’s garden (The Big Mysterious Hole), to making a paper boat (The Paper Boat), to pointing out a bright star in the sky (I Want a Star), and lastly to using walks on the beach, in the park, or around your own house (My Friend – Sea, The Letters Garden in the Park, Hide and Seek).