by guest blogger, Sarah Sawler
From entertainment to education, books play a huge part in our lives. They preserve our histories and traditions for future generations, they challenge us to rethink things that we thought we knew and they take us places that we’ve never been. This month’s post celebrates all that books have to offer by featuring some great stories that show just how much fun reading can be.
It’s a Little Book By Lane Smith
This board book adaptation of the bestselling It’s a Book features a very confused, diapered donkey that has happened across a gorilla holding a very strange object. Small children will relate as the donkey uses his imagination to try and figure out what exactly this mysterious thing is—and he certainly has plenty of ideas. When he asks the gorilla if it’s for chewing, flying or building, each time the gorilla simply responds “No.” Finally, the gorilla gives in and explains that it’s for reading.
Babies and toddlers will love the simple repetition of the text and the silly, colourful illustrations. After spending so much of their day exploring their own worlds, children will delight in reading about how the donkey explores his.
Put Me in a Book By Robert Munsch, illustrated by Michael Martchenko
Put Me in a Book tells the story of how a little girl named Hailey ended up in a book—and how she escaped. It all begins when her class meets a man working on his book in the park. Unfortunately, things aren’t going so well for him: he can’t decide who to use in the story. When Hailey asks if he’ll use her, he folds her up, flattens her and, quite literally, puts her in the book. Her teacher is thrilled because obviously, “It is a great honour to be in a book.” Hailey disagrees. Kids will cheer on Hailey’s classmates as they try everything they can think of to get her out. They try to pull the book apart, but it just stretches Hailey out. They try to twist the book, but that just scrunches Hailey up. Her class proves just how powerful words can be when they run back to the park to change the ending of the story. Hailey escapes and makes one last change to the ending…
The Incredible Book Eating Boy By Oliver Jeffers
Meet Henry. He’s a dietary nightmare, but he’s on his way to becoming the smartest person in the world—if he can survive his eating habits. A cautionary tale about trying to take shortcuts to learning and the power of words, The Incredible Book-Eating Boy tells the story of a child who discovers that if he eats books, he immediately absorbs the information inside. Realizing how much time this could save him in his mission to become the smartest person in the world, he begins gobbling books at an alarming rate. Disaster ensues, and Henry realizes that although reading books may be slower than eating them, it’s more fun. More importantly, he discovers that when he takes his time to learn instead of taking the easy route, the information stays with him.
Oliver Jeffers, the award winning author and illustrator behind the bestsellers How to Catch a Star and Lost and Found enchants us again with this whimsical and deceivingly thoughtful picture book. It’s a wonderfully imaginative story with the quirky illustrations that Oliver Jeffers has become known for. Your kids will be having so much fun they won’t even know that they’ve just learned something.
No matter what genre you prefer, books will always be an important part of our culture. Introduce your children to the magic and power of a good book by sharing one with them tonight.
Sarah Sawler lives in St Margarets Bay, N.S., with her partner and her two boys. A love of reading has inspired her career in magazine and web writing, as well as her new website and blog www.booksbetweenthelines.ca