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"Did you know that 774 million* people in our world, cannot read…And 66% of the world’s illiterate are female?"

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— Sandra S C Arthur (@Mrs_Arthur) March 6, 2013
Link To Our Blog

Here you will find a selection of articles based on our theme "Make Reading Fun"


We  invite other like-minded writers to contribute articles for either this blog or for placement on this website.

Please email your article or suggestions to admin@SandraArthurBooks.com





Recent posts:


Finding the perfect gift for Christmas


Choosing the perfect gift for any child is proving more and more difficult. With so many toys and activities to select from, you can be certain there is a huge choose in shops and online AND plenty of ways to make the wrong choice.

Assuming you have already selected the desired “toy” for your child (hint, ask them to produce a xmas list!) what other gift can be considered?

Make learning (and reading) fun has always been our motto. It is never too early to introduce children to books and so at this time of year, what better gift to consider giving to the young children in your life, than a book.


More/...(to read more click on title above and link to our blog site)


Make Teaching English Fun!


As a kid’s book author I often run storytelling workshops and try to include a variety of creative ideas into my sessions. I’m not a trained teacher, but I write books for kids and have spent years running storytelling and creative workshops to help children learn to make reading fun. Also in my business life, I work as a marketing consultant and thus having good presentation skills and knowing how to get your message home are two important skills I felt I could apply to helping kids learn English.

Living in France, the local French primary schools are now mandated to teach English to all 7 year + pupils and yet they often have no budget to hire “English teachers”. I was alarmed to read that at the end the year, children often have only been taught to say their name in English…

I therefore offered my services, as a volunteer, to join the local primary school teacher and offer some FUN English classes at the end of the school year. I received the syllabus for the year, and thought “I could teach this in one day!”  .../More


Celebrate World Read Aloud Day - 6 March 2013


Did you know that 774 million* people in our world, cannot read…  And 66% of the world’s illiterate are female?  

Our entire civilization is at stake when girls’ lives are fragile because they are prevented from accessing the right to read and write. All girls must be able to vote with their names, read their medicine bottles, farm their land, ride a subway and go to college.

Based on World Bank research and economic data and UNESCO education statistics, it estimates the economic cost to 65 low and middle income and transitional countries of failing to educate girls to the same standard as boys as a staggering US$92 billion each year.  Let’s repeat that fact; the failure to offer girls the same educational opportunities as boys costs developing countries almost $100 billion each year in lost economic growth. .../More

Celebrating International Book Giving Day

It’s a great initiative aimed at increasing children’s access to and enthusiasm for books.  Teaching your child to read and encouraging reading has multiple benefits and is the key to your child’s academic future. The main reason is that reading is at the heart of all formal education.  If your child cannot read how are they going to learn?

SPECIAL VISIT REPORT
KINGSTON SCHOOL, CANADA WELCOMES CHILDREN’S BOOK AUTHOR TO LEAD STORYTELLING WORKSHOP

With literacy issues being a hot topic at schools today, it is no surprise that the Head and Teachers in Year 1-2 at Kingston’s Rideau Public School, in Ontario Canada, Canada, jumped at the chance to welcome a children’s author, who aims to “make reading fun”.    Read more.../









Tips for Reading Aloud to kids

Beat the Christmas Blues: Reach New Reading HeightsSurprising Ways To Put The Fun Back in Reading With Your Children (featured below)

New Borneo focused picture book to be launched during International Literacy Week

Why Reading Aloud to your kids is Important.

The Road to Literacy: Strategies for Parents and the Pre Reader

Boys falling behind in reading?


Will e-books drive the end of books?

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Making Reading Fun

Beat the Christmas Blues: Reach New Reading Heights

Surprising Ways To Put The Fun Back in Reading With Your Children

 

We all know that reading is critical to a child’s success in school and beyond in life. School reading and study can be a tab boring but there is no reason why learning to read should not be fun.  So during the long xmas holiday break, here are some suggestions on how to surprise your kids that reading can be fun!

 +Hold a Book Character Dinner over the xmas holiday.   Why not host a special dinner where everyone is invited to come dressed as their favourite person from a given book.  Go to town and decorate your dining room/kitchen in the style of the theme and remember to include some interesting food.  Add atmosphere by playing suitable music and don’t forgot to discuss the book.


+Holiday gifts.  Hopefully you included at least ONE book in your child’s holiday gift package.  If not, use the sale time to check out your local bookshop (or online) and find a selection of interesting books for a surprise Boxing Day or New Year's Eve or Day gift.  There are a huge range of books from fun read aloud to funny short stories and more serious “learn about” books that should appeal to all tastes.

 Remember to set aside some time to read and enjoy the book together.  If you choose well, you’ll be surprised how those flat parcels will be well received.  Better still, book titles will find their way onto “request letters”.

+Read the book before the movie.  IF your child is keen to watch a given film (example The Hobbit),  insist they read the book first!

 +Thank you notes.  It’s lovely to receive lots of presents but children need to be reminded to send out thank you notes.  There really should be no excuse to send out thank you notes or zero cost emails.  This is a great way to teach your child good manners and also offer them a chance to be creative (decorate their notes – drawing, stickers, glitter, paint etc.).  If writing an email, help them add a photograph or scan in a drawing they have made.

+Have a non TV night.  Whilst it is tempting to watch one of the many Christmas programmes or films on TV – try to arrange one evening for a special family evening of fun.  This can include playing “after dinner games” such as charades or a variation on this theme.  Ahead of time write the names of as many books, or characters from books and place each suggestion on folded pieces of paper that you place in a bowl or box.  Each player takes a piece of paper and must try to describe the person or book by giving clues.

 These lively games are a lot of fun and children will not realise that you have tricked them to “read”!

Alternatively, if you feel you need to simply relax after all the heavy Christmas eating, offer a surprise selection of magazines and books and offer interesting snacks, popcorn, juice and lead the charge to enjoy reading a book.

+Cooking up a treat!  During the holidays invite your child to help you make some surprise treats for the family.  This could include ginger bread house/or shapes, biscuits, cookies, sweets or a favourite dessert.  Not only will they need to help you by "reading aloud" the recipe, they make pick up some handy kitchen and cooking skills!  They will also delight the rest of the family with their contribution.



+Car Trip.  Over the holiday you may need to drive to visit other family members and will be facing a long car trip.  Ditch the video games and use the long journey to play I spy games.  Pass out some interesting books and ask your child to read jokes or a poem aloud in the car for everyone then to discuss.  If reading causes car sickness then turn to old favourites such as singing that help your memory: 12 days of Christmas, 10 green bottles etc.

+Reading bonus.  During the holidays, allow your child to stay up a little later than normal.  This extra time can be offered to let them curl up in bed with warm milk, cookies and maybe a torch to enjoy reading for an extra 30 minutes.  They can catch up on their sleep in the morning and enjoy a lovely lie in.  If necessary they can "complete their reading" in bed, if they wake up early.  Thus you can also enjoy a lie in!

+No budget for books.  Plan to visit your local library.  Here there are often fun storytelling workshops taking place during the holiday.  Help you child search and select a great selection of fun titles.  Complete the visit by offering a treat such as buying an ice cream/drink en-route home or simply enjoying looking at the xmas lights or beautiful trees/birds int he park.



Tips for Reading Aloud to Kids

"… the first step to literacy is simply being immersed, through conversation and storytelling, in a reading environment; the second is to read a lot and often.”
Susan Engel, senior lecturer in psychology and the director of the teaching program at Williams College.

This is something I really believe is true and have set out to not only write books for kids that are fun but also have been leading a number of storytelling workshops.

Over the past few weeks I have been sharing, on my FaceBook site, some of my reading aloud tips when sharing my books with small children.  Therefore, having run a number of interactive “story telling workshops” to a wide range of international children, I hope you can now benefit by using some of these techniques with your children or class.

READING TIP ONE:

When reading to children, add a third dimension to the activity. Example, when reading our “The Golden Gondola”, we played music and sampled food that was discovered in the story in China, Iran and Japan as well as Italy.  We did this at a recent “reading” and not only were the kids excited, many rushed home and wanted to cook!  They had to dig out recipes and this in turn provided them with further opportunities to read.

READING TIP TWO:

When reading aloud SLOW DOWN your speech.   This is key.  When you are nervous it is normal to speak quickly, so ensure you prepare before your storytelling session.   Sounds silly, but even if you are reading bedtime stories, take time to read the book ahead of sharing.  The key for “public speaking” is to practice beforehand and if possible try recording and playing back your voice.  You want to aim at a reading speed of around 150 words per minute – so by timing you can gauge your speed!  At first, you may think this is far too slow, but remember, the children are hearing the story for the first time.  They need time to listen and understand.    You’ll appreciate how much better it is to not only speak slowly, but also loudly with plenty of pauses.  A great tip is when you see a full stop, pause, take a big breath and count to 2 (in your head) and for a comma count to 1.    This allows you to keep your reading slow and also children have time to build up a mental picture of the scene you are describing. Your voice level is also important to ensure that everyone can hear what you are saying.  You can also use volume to add tension.  For example, use your voice as “whisper” when there is danger in the dialogue, shout when there is anger etc.  Bring the story alive – use different voices for each person/thing speaking in the story.   In our Radio Ron Audio ebook, we used a funny British Voice for Radio Ron and Canadian / American voices for the Dayaks!    However, be careful what accents or voices you use.  You will need to practice and ensure you can sustain consistency and fluency.  You will need one “voice” for the narrator and perhaps create others for key characters.   And don’t forget to share the illustrations – there is no need to hurry.

READING TIP THREE:

When reading to young children (who generally can’t sit still!) let them have something to do with their hands.  It could be a string of worry beads, or consider handing out paper and pens. Let them sketch out ideas or just scribble, as you read!  Alternatively, ensure you give everyone the chance to move.  For example, before reading any animal based story, you can invite the children to sound or move like their favourite animal.

If you are reading to just one child, allow them to look at the book and study the pictures after the story.  This will allow them time to review and ask questions.

READING TIP FOUR:

When reading aloud to children, remember to keep them engaged. Before you turn the page ask them what do they think will happen next.  Discuss each illustration and ensure as many children as possible have the opportunity to respond and contribute.  Make a list of questions that you can use if you notice “boredom” setting in!

READING TIP FIVE:

If reading aloud to a group of children – set the mood with music. Example, when reading one of our Borneo themed books play some traditional  Borneo inspired music or jungle noises as children settle down to hear the story.  Example: Listen to the wonderful sape being played by top musician, Jerry Kamit. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2Fsi_lGbQI

READING TIP SIX:

Make it fun.  Not only try to make your reading as entertaining as possible, consider what other activities you can do that tie into the theme after the storytelling session.  This could be singing a song, drawing a picture, creating a puppet show or performing a dance.

READING TIP SEVEN:

Use technology to secure extra interest.  You can project electronic books onto the classroom wall.  Use a laser light to highlight words that you are reading.  If you have internet connection, if appropriate, link to Google earth or similar sites to show the location of your story.  Likewise, consider to review other suitable web sites.  For example, show a picture of the book’s author and learn more about the writer of the book you are sharing.  Listen to music that might be related to the story and so forth.

READING TIP SEVEN:

Allow different children to choose their favourite book for each storytelling session.  The chosen child will be extremely happy and proud of her choice and other children will be keen to be selected to find fun books for future readings.

What are your favourite reading tips?  We’d love to hear from you and share with others.




Will e-books drive the end of books?

Could e-books eventually make good old fashioned books obsolete? For me the answer is not in my lifetime.   Nothing beats the joy of turning book pages and flipping to the back to read the end of a story!    I love flipping through magazines, tearing out pages of cool recipes and using colour p
ic
tures to inspire my children to draw.  Joking apart, I believe many adults and children will still prefer the physical look and feel of a book - especially early learners.  Studies have also shown that children learn better from "books" than ebooks.  That's why I produce my children's stories as books.   I have recently made available some of my titles as e-books for those children who may want to bring a selection of books on holiday via their parents ipad (and not have to carry a suitcase of heavy luggage).  There is certainly some value in the audio books that allow a child to listen to the story being read as this definitely helps to kick start interest in why reading can be fun.  The danger occurs when an eBooks includes too many gadgets as this distracts the child from focusing on the actual story. 

With that in mind, I hope that my new audio ebook,
Radio Ron's Postcards from Borneo: Crocodile Attack,  hits the right buttons and will assist children to enjoy the story, laugh at the narration but learn at the same time.

 Below find an interesting article on the stats relating to eReading commissioned by schools.com


The Rise of eReading: Are Books Going to Become an Endangered Species?
Courtesy of: Schools.com



Radio Ron’s Postcards from Borneo
Helpful for Bilingual Children!


 








Using Borneo’s rainforest as its backdrop, our Radio Ron's Postcards from Borneo has been relaunched.   It follows the curious story of "Radio Ron" (a Royal Air Force Radio Technician) who takes a journey with Dayak tribes-people.  This is a vivid, fun and thought-provoking adventure book for children under nine years that is also proving popular with children who are learning English as a second language. 


As a mother of bilingual children, I was happy to receive an email from parents in Norway, who confirmed that the multi-media ebook functioned well and served as an easy reading book for their son, non-native English speaker in his 4th class primary school. 

The series has been updated, re-illustrated and produced as a paperback, hard cover and now as an ebook and audio ebooks (for the ipad).   
This humorous picture book, illustrated by British artist Lisa Williams, should appeal to all children, young and old.  At the same time, readers can learn interesting facts about the endangered orang utans (orang-utans) of Borneo.  The book is completed with environmental information and parent and educator notes, for a lively reading and educational experience.   As children develop their own reading skills they can catch up on the adventures of “Radio Ron” in a junior fiction book, Cpl Ron’s Borneo Warrior Rescue, that has received accolades worldwide.

Other feedback I received included Denise Gilby, teacher at an International school called Victoria School, in Tequisquiapan, Mexico added “This is a very good presentation – the narration and voices bring the story to life well.   I enjoyed it and will forward it to our year 2 teacher who will be doing a rain forest topic later in the year”.


Teacher, Stephanie Moreland, France, is another person who has contacted us to advise that her class of French students will be using "Radio Ron" to help them with their English studies.

Other groups and schools from around the world (including Australia, France, and US) have pledged their interest in this project and support to use this material.  Some classes in France have already used early versions of this work in their 6-7 year old classes.   In the last few years, many schools around the world have added rain forest projects to their curricula (heavily supported by various environmental charities and the Prince's Trust in the UK) and I’m happy to report some are using Radio Ron’s Postcards (both the early learning book in both English and French) as part of their school projects.  Sales support orangutan charities.

Link here to review books



Boys falling behind in reading?

Thirty eight percent of 4th graders (in USA) cannot read a simple poem – according to a US Dept of Education, National Center for Educational Statistic.


Furthermore, one comment I had received online during the year, from a Canadian teacher, was the point that generally it is boys who are falling behind in reading skills.  She believed this could be in part due to the fact there are not a lot of good stories for boys. She backed up her argument by advising that many educational experts confirm the reason why boys do not read as well as girls, in childhood, is due to the current content that is available seems more appealing more to girls.  I wonder how many other agree?

Motivated to research this issue, I had to generally concur with this teacher’s findings.  Currently boys face an unprecedented literary crisis that limits their future opportunities.  Recent educational studies do show that the gap between the sexes - dating back to the 19th Century -  “has increased markedly”. What is known is that boys generally take longer to learn to read than girls; they read less and are less enthusiastic about it; and they have more trouble understanding narrative texts yet are better at absorbing informational texts.   As reading is the key ingredient in all learning, if a child is weak in reading, then this sadly will be reflected throughout all their education.  When a child is struggling with reading then he or she will struggle with all subjects.   

I had not written the Radio Ron’ Rainforest Adventure series strictly fo
r boys – although, I do have two sons which I used to test the storyline, and yes, they both love the story!   I'm hoping my early learning e-book video will appeal to all as it presents reading in a fun manner. Kids can listen to the narration, mute the sound and try and read and repeat.  Moving away from the classroom teaching of simple looking at books – these simple ebooks videos take that experience one more step to engage more of a child’s senses.  Children have the opportunity to be stimulated visually by the delightfully, child-like illustrations created by 6 year kids.  At the same time they can hear the narrative – read by two adults who have injected clarity of reading with humour via the dialogue and delivery.  There is also the addition of background music and sound effects to add additional stimulation, reality and interest.

Children love new things, and boys in particular are stimulated by adventure, animals and learning “how things works”.  Furthermore, the parent or teacher can use the story as a basis to trigger other activities using the storyline as a theme.  An example could be creating a Rain forest animal (or objects such as canoes) (creating puppets, models, drawings) or physically acting out their own rain forest play.
 Learning about geography – finding out where Borneo is located in the world.
Understanding the role of the rain forest and discovering what trees and animals live there.
 
Likewise, getting the children to sing “rowing songs” or play instruments and “making forest noises “could be another way to engage children’s imaginations.  Or reading in outdoor locations - get out of the classroom and encourage children to read in gardens, under trees, by a river.  

As most classroom teaching is a visual and hearing based system- boys in particular tend to enjoy movement/touch, especially at young ages.  I’m hopeful that parents and teachers will use my Radio Ron ebook videos on YouTube to trigger a series of additional activities that includes learning through movement (read the story and then move like an orang utan, for example).
 
I hope that when kids read my short ebook video stories they will ignite their interest to learn more about the unique island of Borneo.   Not only are regions like Borneo impacting global climate change but their people, animals and plants are battling with a multitude of issues, not least extinction.

 I know my boys had dozens of questions the first few times they heard the story.   I've developed some educator notes that provide suggestions and ideas and these can be supplied – see attachment below.

By offering a fun approach to early reading practice, I hope my work may encourage a life long love affair with reading and books (whether on an electronic screen or paper).    And, at the same time, also trigger an interest in environmental issues.



Phonics Versus whole word

As the arguments and debate rages on between educators on what is the best approach to teaching reading English to children, here’s some food for thought.


About 50% of the English language cannot be read by applying phonetics.  There are simply too many exceptions due to the history of our rich language.  Ultimately certain words have to learned.   Certainly the latest phonic-based teaching has attracted much merit with the ease that children can develop reading.  It has also been reported that this style of teaching also helps children who are dyslectic.  However, in reality, almost all children learn to read by a combination of the whole word and phonics-based approaches – especially it they have had mum or dad (who were taught that way – as in my case!).   Whole word reading is easier, so most children learn their first words by this method, before they know the sounds that the letters make. Many kindergarten teachers teach some words by sight before starting on phonics.

No matter what reading system you use, at the end of the day it is essential that learning to read is made fun in the early years of learning.  Whether this be via the material that is used or the information obtained from the reading material.  As today’s generation will be a truly pc literate group, I hope that my Radio Ron eBook video demonstrates the fun that children can derive for engaging in early multi-media experience.


Schools Out for Summer !!                  How to get kids to read?

Now that summer is here, the children have started their school holida
ys, and two long months loom ahead; how to entertain the kids?

Aside from seaside activities, playing in the garden/park as well as popular electronic games, encouraging your young children to read is a great way for them to improve their reading skills as well as developing their imagination.

Unless your child is a keen reader, it can be a huge challenge to get the reluctant reader to pick up a book, especially if they have to struggle to read.  These children do not find it a fun activity and will naturally resist any efforts you may make.

 

Here are some ideas on how to potentially encourage those children who may be challenged to read:-

 

+ Reading to younger kids.  Get them to choose ANY book/comic and arrange for them to read it to a younger child.  This will give them the confidence they lack, as the younger children will be impressed to hear the bigger child read.  If you do not have a younger child, then agree to let the child read to you (or a neighbour/grandparent).  Give them huge encouragement and an incentive to do this each day of the holiday.  One example could be to create a chart and give them a sticker each day they read.   Once the child has collected  seven stickers, they receive a small gift (or it could be a certificate you create on your computer).

+Summer Diary or Journal.  Get your child to write a journal each day. They need only write a couple of lines to summarise what they have been doing each day.  At the end of each week, ask them to read their journal to you.  If there is reluctance on the side of the child, you could offer a small prize or outing at the end of several weeks to reward them for their efforts.

+Find books they provide a multi-media aspect.  Mixing up activities that allow the child to read, observe content on the pc, and then move back to the book for more content is a good way to demonstrate that reading is fun.  My new junior fiction book, Venice Escape provides such an opportunity.  In each chapter the child can link to my music link tracks to watch and hear music described in the story.  For the younger reader, I have a couple of early learning stories on YouTube that help the child follow the story. 

 +Games/Magazines – don’t dismiss children comic books that can serve as an easier way to get your child to read.  The same applies to electronic games, but limit the time spent playing!

 +Bedtime reading.  Choose one time per day when YOU read to your child – or you can listen to an audio book together.    Generally bedtime is a good opportunity for you to get cosy on the sofa or bedroom and read a more advance story, than your child can read.   Ensure you save some time to discuss the storyline together.  Ask them to use their imagination to guess what may happen next or invent their own story.  As you invest time to do this, the notion of reading will hopefully appeal.


Make Reading Fun!!!     Ideas to develop literacy

Children who develop a love of reading at an early age get a head start with language skills that are invaluable for their future.

 It was pancake day here in France, and it gave me a great idea.  If you have reluctant reader in your class or home, why not introduce a cooking lesson.

 The children will not necessarily consider reading a recipe as a difficult task.  Even if they do, with encouragement you can make the exercise seem easy.

 Before you start cooking, you can pick out difficult words to learn to read and write.  Have a plate of rice or sugar in front of each child, and get them to write the words out by writing in the dish of grains. 

 If you child is too young to read, then read out the instructions out loud.

 You can develop the child’s confidence by asking them to read the ingredient list and gather all the items required for the recipe.  Once you have the ingredients, work through the recipe, step by step.  If you have more than one child, you can allow each one to take turns to read out loud the instructions, or allow each child to work alone and work at the same speed.

Measuring out the ingredients by weighing the flour etc, will also use other skills.

Making pancakes is easy and lots of fun.  With adult supervision you can assist with the cooking but allow the child to decorate the final crepes or pancakes.  Using honey and a variety of other items such as fruit pieces, chocolate chips encourage each child to write a word on their pancake.  Take photographs of their creations and decorate your kitchen.  You can then change your notice board pictures on a regular basis, as they share new creations developed.  This will make them feel very proud.

The ability to read and communicate is the fundamental key to what opportunities may be offered during their lifetime.

 

As Dr. Seuss in “I can read with my Eyes Shut!” stated:


"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go."


To discover and learn about things in life, be it on the computer, online or in books, children need to read.  It is one of the most important skills you can have.

 

Kick start their love of reading by making it fun!



Do as I say, and not as I do! 

“Do as I say, not what I do” does not work when it comes to encouraging kids to read.    If you NEVER read anything, how do you expect your own children to become avid book lovers??  Trying to get your kids to read from an early age should be something that not only you encourage, but also lead by example.

 As a young girl, I can never remember my father without at least a book or newspaper – often both – in his hands.  He encouraged my brother and I to visit the library each week, and we were given a free reign to choose any book to take home to read.  He allowed us to select our favourite comics at the newsagent, and set up a regular home delivery each week, so that we did not miss out on our favourite stories or pop-world gossip.

From those early days, I recall my primary school headmaster also taking special interest in each child in our class.  He would come into our classroom and chat with each child, to learn more about their interests in life.  He would then disappear to the library and return with a selection of books, that he would encourage different children to read.  I have him to thank for introducing me to The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien and The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe, by C. S. Lewis.   From that moment I was hooked on reading and couldn’t find enough adventure, travel fantasy stories and later enjoyed all the detective stories by Agatha Christie.

By the time I reached high school I was required to read the books defined by the school education board: To Kill a Mocking Bird, To Sir with Love, Lord of the Flies, Animal Farm, Wuthering Heights and so on.    I loved them all.  I do recall being asked to read “Shane” and it was the first time I actually hated to read a book.  Hard to recall why, but I remember my English teacher reflecting “perhaps it is a book for boys…” 

 By now, I was reading a wider scope of books from historical fiction, to love stories, adventure and spy and crime thrillers.  The books I loved the most were the one’s that created many twists and turns and also offered adventure away from England!

What made them magical was the ability to close your eyes and imagine the face of the heroine.  I found that if a book I had read was turned into a movie or television show, it ruined the experience if one re-read the book – all the magic was taken away as you could then draw on film images and ignore your own imagination.

That’s why I believe the experience to allow people to develop and come up with their own ideas when reading is so important.  For those reluctant readers in our high school class, I recall one year we had a student teacher visit who arrived with some new ideas.  This may amuse those younger readers, but I recall this student teacher bringing in a stack of 45 rpm records and playing David Bowie and other current music of the mid 1970’s to the class.  We had to listen to the song, study the lyrics and then write an essay on what we thought the singer or songwriter was trying to say!  It was a lot of fun and a new approach to getting kids to read, listen and provide review and feedback.    That interaction was so important as it helped turn around some kids who had turned their back on reading.

That’s why I was so keen that I would follow my father’s example and ensure my kids took up his love – to read books.  As soon as they could hold anything, I thrust black and white board books into their hands.  I followed this up with the full range of wonderful look and feel books that exist, and ensured that they were read to each night.  Now to my delight, they love books as much as my husband and I and of course, their Grandad.

A love of reading is one of the greatest gifts you can give to any child – take a moment to determine how you can pass on this wonderful gift to children in your life.


Venice Escapes receives top marks for originality

Independent kids book review site, Ahgoo Review has posted a very positive review on Venice Escape.  The editor of the site found it very technologically savvy - a tall order for a printed book.  In addition, she created a new category for her book review site - one calling for originality.  Venice Escape scored top marks in both.  The full review can be found on the link below.
AHGOO REVIEW http://ahgooreview.com/2011/07/venice-escape/


Guest article as featured on Kids Book Review

New Reading approach for 2.0 Generation
With so much of our lives now being shared online, it is no surprise that the young children of today need to be technically savvy and adapt at using the web. We are all being bombarded with more information, in one week, let alone one year, than our forefathers would have perhaps been exposed to in their LIFETIME. For an average person on an ordinary day, it amounts to 34 gigabytes of data or 100,500 words.

Input comes from a variety of sources unrelated to work/school, including movies, mobile phones, television, the Internet, video games, newspapers, magazines, books and music.

Read full article on Australian based,
Kids Book Review website - link below:
KBR warmly welcomes Sandra Arthur, author and literacy advocate, with this fascinating guest post on reading for an online generation.


http://www.kids-bookreview.com/2011/07/guest-post-new-reading-approaches-to.html

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Sandra Arthur,
Sep 14, 2012, 7:56 AM
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