Today on #IrishWritersWed I am joined by children’s author and illustrator, Dolores Keaveney, with a post that is very close to my own heart entitled, ‘The Joy Of Reading to Your Child’
‘Do you read to your children?
What is one of the most important things parents can do with their children, apart from keeping them healthy and safe? Read with them.’
I really hope you enjoy Dolores’ words and feel inspired to pick up a book a little more often, enjoying magical time reading with the small folk in your life!!
THE JOY OF READING TO YOUR CHILD
by Dolores Keaveney
Do you read to your children?
What is one of the most important things parents can do with their children, apart from keeping them healthy and safe? Read with them. You can start reading to them from the time they are born, because an infant can listen to your voice, so you could even begin before they are born. As they get older, even a few months old, they can look at the pictures and point to objects in the books. By associating the words with objects and drawing attention to the illustrations your child will learn the importance of language. Studies have shown that early reading with children will help them learn to speak, interact, bond with parents and read early themselves.
Picture books with no words are told entirely through their illustrations. Sharing wordless books with children gives them the opportunity to build important literacy skills. They listen and create their own story in their own words. Don’t be afraid to use funny voices: children love this! The most important thing when reading with a child is that you both enjoy the time together.
Make books accessible. It is important to have a little bookshelf low down so that the child can explore the books, that way they can pull out the books, feel them, smell them and even chew them. What is the point of having a lovely selection of children’s books sitting tidily up on a shelf where they cannot reach them? Bring books with you on car trips. Rather than handing them a device, hand them a book.
Don’t forget our wonderful LIBRARIES. I read regularly in libraries throughout the country and they work tirelessly to supply an array of books to suit any age. Every year they bring in authors and illustrators to talk to the children about books and reading so that children have the opportunity to become readers. A library is a magic place to bring your child.
I have eight grandchildren and I love reading to them. I always ask my grandchildren to pick a book because they are more likely to engage with the book if they choose it. It always amuses me when one of my grandchildren in particular will pick a few books from our little bookshelf that are almost 30 years old, namely The House that Jack Built, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Three Little Pigs. They read lots of modern books also, namely The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson, Before You Sleep by Benji Bennett, a wonderful Irish author, and hopefully some of my own picture books.
There is one particular book that I love to read to them and this is called The Tiger who came to tea by Judith Kerr. I have to say this is one of my all time favourites. I bought it for my first child 45 years ago and I still read it to this day. Judith Kerr is 94 years of age and was born in Britain. She has created many beautiful enduring books like the Mog Series and The Tiger who came to tea along with others. Just last year she published a new book called Katinka’s Tail. What an amazing author. I hope I can follow in her footsteps.
A short list of some of Ireland’s wonderful children’s books:
( As Recommended by Dolores Keaveney)
Before You Sleep by Benji Bennett ~ Age 1+, (Benji has 7 more fantastic books)
Bliain na nAmhrán scriofa ag Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin, maisithe ag Jennifer Farley, Brian Fitzgerald, Tarsila Krüse agus Christina O’Donovan ~ Age 3/7
Goodnight Everyone by Chris Haughton ~ Age 1+
Historopedia by Fatti Burke and John Burke ~ Age 8+
Eva’s journey by Judi Curtin ~ Age 8/11
In Deep Dark Wood by Marita Conlon McKenna ~ Age 9+
Jenny Q: Stitched Up by Pauline McGlynn ~ Age 13
Dolores Keaveney is a self published author/illustrator of children’s picture books. She has been painting for the best part of forty years. Her art is vibrant, colourful, loose and uplifting. She gets her inspiration from her garden when in summertime it is packed full of beautiful flowers. Her first picture book If I were a bee… was self published in 2009. This book was a great success for her and spurred her on to write and illustrate more. She has continued to launch one or two books per year since then.
She has just released her 10th and 11th book.
Website ~ www.doloreskeaveney.com
Twitter ~ @DbeePress
Facebook ~ https://www.facebook.com/dolkeaveney
Instagram ~ https://www.instagram.com/doloreskeaveney/