Which story should I choose for my child? This is the common dilemma that most parents face. Some of us want them to read outside the prescribed textbooks. Others prefer to focus on the SEA swarm of “bee” books that are generated as non-fiction pulp, so they can pass that notorious exam. Any discerning parent should steer a course between the two schools of thought. The discomfort is that there are too, too many devices — iPod, iPad, iPhone — and a little sprinkle of I Read. Especially “I read” for a great pleasant and enriching pleasure. I discover, I travel, and I feel good!
The silver sword
Simply put, the story is that stories matter because they are universal. They help us understand our place in the world. They help us learn and act wisely. Moreover, they help shape our view of the world and to understand others and their points of view. You want your child to find out why things are different. This is essential as they would not look down on others who follow other forms of worship, mores and cultural practices. Knowing the difference brings a stronger understanding and appreciation of “otherness”.
Stories will always matter, now and forever. I learned that children should be exposed to reading – as soon as they can hold a book – and by age three when they have stopped eating books. All parents, guardians, nannies or babysitters should read them stories.
Here is a list of selected titles that you can consider buying for your child. Instead of a large pizza, visit your bookstore and put your pizza dollars on a storybook of choice. Delay the tasty crunch of toppings and allow your child to dig into a storybook and find hours of fun just by reading.
Both lists are prescriptive but not exhaustive. Just let them have adventures beyond pizza and coke.
where the wild things are
For 3 to 7 year olds:
*Just So Stories (Rudy and Kipling)
*The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Beatrix Potter)
* Charlotte’s Web (EB White)
*The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle)
*Winnie’s World (AA Milne)
* Dogger (Shirley Hughes)
* The release of Mr Grumpy (John Burningham)
*Where are the wild things (Maurice Sendak)
*Each Plum Pear Peach (Allan and Janet Ahlberg)
*Mr. Magnolia (Quentin Blake)
*Now we are six (AA Milne)
*Where is Spot (Eric Hill)
*Zoe’ the Fairy’s Discoveries-A Trip to Maracas Beach (Liseanne Martin-Subero)
The secret garden
For 8-11 year olds:
*The Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame)
*The Hobbit (JRR Tolkien)
* Tom’s Midnight Garden (Philippa Pearce)
*The Giant BFG (Roald Dahl)
*Iron Man (Ted Hughes)
*The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
*A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens)
*The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (CS Lewis)
*Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)
*Thomas Kempe’s Ghost (Penelope Lively)
*The Silver Sword (Ian Serraillier)
*Stig from the junkyard (Clive King)
*The Book of Stone (Alan Garner)
*The Treasure Seekers (ES Nesbit)
*The turbulent tenure of Tyke Tyler (Gene Kemp)
*Willoughby Chase’s Wolvers (Joan Aiken)
I have not forgotten the books written by people from other diasporas – for example, Kenya, Korea, Ghana, Ethiopia, West Indies, India, China, Trinidad and Tobago, Tanzania, West Africa. So, rest assured the BLM, the writing does not belong to the color of the skin (ethnicity). I’m not going to take the “knee” on this one. All literature speaks to everyone. Be receptive! I will deal with this in my next article. Staying up; stay up !