In celebration of Australian Book Week we have more booky goodness today! Jackie of My Little Bookcase is kindly sharing 5 ideas for introducing authors and illustrators as one way to grow book-loving kids.
As parents, helping Cam to develop a love and appreciation for reading is a wonderful journey, which we thoroughly enjoy.
Our journey began by letting Cam explore books. Much to the horror of many, this included her licking, chewing and ripping them.
We’ve made reading a regular part of our day, we frequently visited the library, we enjoy reading activities with most of the books that we read, and we’ve recently entered the next exciting phase of the journey – sharing amazing conversations about our books and the people who create them. Here are some of the ways we develop these conversations:
1. Acknowledge the author and illustrator when reading a book.
2. Take a picture walk through a book before we read it. I’ll ask Cam if she recognises the illustrations or if they look similar to any of the illustrations in books we’ve read before.
3. Play games such as Hide and Seek, naming an illustrator or author and then hunting through our bookcases to find all of their books.
4. Pretend to write and receive letters from some of her favourite authors and illustrators.
5. Attend as many children’s book events as we can (I must admit that we are spoilt for choice in Melbourne). We see these events as opportunities for creating extra special literary memories, which are hopefully also helping Cam to develop a deeper respect for the people who create our favourite books. The events are always a lot of fun. As well as the reading, there are usually songs, games and activities for children to enjoy – sometimes even some yummy treats to devour.
We love introducing ourselves to the author/illustrator who happily writes a message for Cam on the inside cover of her book. I also like to take a photo of Cam sitting with the author/illustrator.
I stick the photo in the back of the book so Cam can remember the occasion each time we read the book. When she spots the photo, she is always the one to begin a conversation, ‘when are we going to see Katherine again?’ or ‘remember when we saw Kylie?’
I believe these interactions with authors and illustrators will incite a life-long interest in their books, and help Cam to maintain her interest in reading.
August is a particularly wonderful time to meet authors in Australia. There are many authors and illustrators who visit schools, libraries and bookshops during this time to celebrate Book Week and National Bookshop Day.
Jackie Small manages My Little Bookcase an online resource that aims to model and provide parents with fun, warm, friendly and positive ways to engage their children in reading.