I absolutely love books and stories. Stories have the power to delight, touch, teach, recall, inspire, motivate and challenge. It is hard to imagine a world without stories. I am always enchanted by the interest the children show in books and the joy that being read to brings them.
Some of our youngest children expressed their feelings towards books,
“I really love books!”
“I got a book about Henry and the dinosaurs. It’s got nice dinosaurs in.”
“I like the characters.”
“I like reading.”
“I love my mummy and daddy to read them to me.”
“I love about books because I can read a book and my brain gives me ideas.”
“The book is my favorite. I love reading books.”
Reading is an important part of our daily interactions in Early Years. The children delight in many opportunities for telling, hearing, sharing and being a part of stories. As we provide experiences and a favourable environment for literacy, we can be reminded by Professor Tina Bruce how essential this is as,
“Children become avid emergent readers only if the beginnings of reading have gone well for them.”
So in Early Years we provide solid foundations for the future. Everyday the children are establishing positive attitudes, knowledge and skills to help them master reading. As they hear stories again and again and find favourites, they begin to realise that text, whether fictional (story, poem, rhyme) or non-fictional (giving information) is consistent and does not alter. Children develop layers of symbolic behaviours as they become readers. Children work out what text is, and how it works. They sort out where the story begins, and where it ends and how to deal with the bits in the middle. The books we share make it possible for the children to bring their own experiences to the text, and they are encouraged to talk to adults and their friends about this. Listening to and telling stories aloud is only one layer of exposure to literacy. Singing, rhymes, puppets, imaginative play, to name but a few, all contribute to the development of our young readers. Sharing stories is not just about learning to read, it is about relationships, both between adults and children as they read together and between children and those characters they meet in the text. Books must light in children that flame of the love of literature which will burn throughout the whole of their lives. Books can spark off that passion and children can develop not only as readers, but as lovers of stories and active participants in the most human of experiences.
I wonder what you love about books….