The art of making sense of the written word is how we understand reading. It is something that we all need to do throughout our lives. But how much sense we can make of the written word depends on how much we expose ourselves to such words. The more we do, the better we get at it.
Therefore the need to read cannot be overemphasized.
But though it is essential, it isn’t something that comes naturally to many of us. We need to work to develop the habit. The process can be made easier if we begin at an early age which is why parents need to encourage their children to develop this habit. And this requires patience, time and effort on the part of the parents, especially when the kids are young.
The first step is when parents take the time out to read bedtime stories to their young children, thereby introducing them to the world of books. After that, they can expose their kids to books that can hold their interest and capture their imagination, like picture books, board books, pop-up books, and activity books. Then, of course, they can get books that are simple and easy to read.
There is a whole wide world over there that can be explored jointly by parents and children, especially in the case of our Mini Readers. A bit of advice for parents- Don’t make reading sound like a chore. Make it seem like a fun activity, and then see how your kids res[ond to it.
To make that journey easier, we at AboutHer have identified some writers and a few book series that can be explored. The list has been compiled based on interactions with bookstores, children, parents and authors.
So here we go.
1. Julia Donaldson
She is one of the most well-known writers of children’s books. She is an English writer and playwright who has had 184 of her works published. She is best known for her popular rhyming stories for children, especially those illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Her popular books include The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, Stick Man, The Highway Rat, The Snail, and the Whale.
2. Bill Martin Jr
He was an American educator, publishing executive and the author of more than 300 children’s books. Most of his books were illustrated by Eric Carle. Martin died in 2004 at the age of eighty-eight. There is also an award named after him- ‘The Bill Martin Jr. Award’ instituted in his honour in 1996. His popular books include Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, Baby Bear, Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See, Brown Bear and Friends.
3. Roald Dahl
Was a British novelist, short-story writer, poet, screenwriter and wartime fighter. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide. He rose to prominence as a writer in the 1940s, writing for children and adults. He has been referred to as ‘One of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century’. Though his works were criticized for misogyny and antisemitism, and racism in 2008, he was placed 16th on the list of ‘the 50 great British writers since 1945’ by The Times.
His works include ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The Witches, and Fantastic Mr Fox.
4. Sudha Murthy
She writes for both adults and children. Though her books are written in English and Kannada, they have been translated into several Indian languages. She has written over 24 books, including fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, travelogues, and technical books. She has a way of connecting with people through her heartwarming style and has written several books for children, which have captured people’s imagination the world over.
Her popular works for children include ‘How I Taught My Grandmother to Read other Stories, The Gopi Diaries: Coming Home, The Magic of the Lost Temple and The Bird with the Golden Wings, to name a few.
5. Lewis Carroll
He was an English author, illustrator, and poet who took to writing at a young age. He is the author of books like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through The Looking Glass, Sylvie and Bruno, which have stood the test of time. Though he died in 1898, his books are still read by children worldwide.
6. Roopa Pai
She is a computer engineer, journalist and children’s author based in Bangalore. Writing was something that came naturally to her. She started writing while she was in Grade 11. Her well-known books, which can be read out to children in this age group, include The Gita for Children, The Vedas and Upanishads.
7. Om Kids
Om Book shop, a well-known bookstore in Delhi NCR, has gone into the business of publishing books for children. They have a vast variety ranging from activity books, picture books to books on Indian mythology and simplified versions of classics. There is a lot that parents can choose from.
8. Ladybird Series
These are books by various authors published by Penguin Random House. All the books are meant for toddlers and children. So you can take your pick from any one of them. They have everything from picture books to pop-up books and activity books.
9. Eric Hill
He was an English author and illustrator of children’s picture books. He was best known for his puppy character Spot. He created a story of a dog for his son Christopher in 1976. He produced several books with this main character and expanded the range of characters. His books have sold over 60 million copies. The titles include Spot goes to School, Spot Goes to the Fram, Spot’s first Christmas and many more.
So though the children may not be able to read most of these books by themselves, they can be read out to them by the parents. And that is a good starting point to expose them to books. So Happy Reading!