Sharing Stories for World Book Day

If you’re a parent, the thought of world book day can fill you with dread, the pressure to conjure a costume for your little one which reflects, your creativity and devotion to parenting alongside showcasing your child’s excellent literary taste and love of reading can be tremendous and have you bolting to the nearest supermarket to see what overpriced costumes are left (there are incredible hulk books aren’t there??). Like Christmas the meaning of which has been lost, World Book Day’s meaning has been tainted by commercialisation, the true meaning of world book day, a drive to get more to children to read for fun is being lost in the frenzy to post the cutest WBD costume pic. It may be time for us to take a minute to remind ourselves what WBD is really about, encouraging children to read for fun and develop a lifelong love of reading. Lost in the imaginary world conjured by words flowing from a book, I find that music uplifts the experience: bringing to live words on paper, heightening the narrative arc. Think of it like watching a movie, how the music score becomes an intricate part of the visual storytelling experience; how in a Nollywood film, for instance, an ominous xylophone sound thickens the plot and you seat at the edge of your chair, waiting, expecting. It is a delicate dance as the sound can make or mar the experience.

“Creating a love of reading for pleasure in children is critical. Enjoyment, creativity, imagination, greater self-esteem, empathy, relaxation, escapism and improved communication skills are well-known benefits of reading. And for adults, it can lead to a reduction in dementia and depression symptoms.” Source: The Reading Agency Literature Review: The impact of reading for pleasure and empowerment, 2015

This year World Book Day have launched the “Share a Story” campaign this nationwide campaign calls on “Spending just 10 minutes a day reading and sharing stories with children can make a crucial difference to their outcome and it’s fun for all involved.”

We love this campaign because:

  • Life is busy, 10 minutes a day is feasible for most families
  • Children (and adults!) can have short attention spans. 10 minutes is a reasonable amount of time for even the most energetic child to be relatively still and enjoy a story
  • The campaign encourages bonding by calling on adults and children to read together; there is something special about two people sharing a single book

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