Kids ‘n’ books

Reading to and with Amelia has always been a top priority around here. Big-P used to think I was a bit mad to bother reading to her when she was barely big enough to even smile, but of course at that age it’s all about love and sounds and connection as well as language and story telling. He soon got it. He gets it even more now when we see her (as most kids do) fall over herself to choose bedtime stories and then snuggle in to our bed ready to be read to. We have recently moved her book case to the family room, and in tidying it all up she has rediscovered many old favourites and spends quite a lot of time quietly going through the books on her own (on her own is something she doesn’t do a lot of at the moment: preschool = seperation anxiety, but that’s a tale for another day).
It has got me thinking about us and kids and books. I know Mem Fox (author of the quintessential aussie kid’s book, Possum Magic) has been heavily involved in a campaign for literacy and advocates the idea that we should be reading to our children every day for at least ten minutes. I found her web site and it has lots of interesting stuff about reading aloud – including a guide on how to read aloud effectively (Mem style) and her 10 Commandments for reading aloud. She also has a list of Must Have Classics for kids aged 0 to 4 which is a great collection of books to choose the daily three from.

Speaking of lists of books for kids, I was pleased to find this blog just now; Read Alert, a blog about youth literature – from our own State Library. It includes an interesting collection of lists of 10 books children should read before they leave school. I like Ben Okri’s version.

Other links that I have been enjoying on Read Alert are:
Shirley Hughes on the aging of literary characters

Visions of a Little Girl’s Utopia (which has helped me see why Amelia is really fond of the Milly-Molly-Mandy books at the moment)

The Famous Five in their own words.

And OMG — “Beginning in September, Drawn & Quarterly will publish the initial book of a five-volume series of Moomin: the Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip, the first North American English translation of the late Finnish cartoonist’s internationally acclaimed comics strip” I didn’t know this but D&Q do Moomins? I am so thrilled!….

… actually, there is so much good stuff on Read Alert, there’s no point listing them all. I have just spent the evening reading all the archives and feel like it was an evening well spent (and how often do you actually feel that after browsing the web for hours on end?).