Doing the rounds of Children’s Book Festival this month is a reminder of the joy, comfort, escape and pure wild fun that books can bring at any age.
But there are always a few children who say they don’t like reading. I hugely admire their courage and honesty in admitting that in front of teachers, classmates and an author. Some find it ‘boring’ and others ‘difficult’.
Time and again, though, I find that inside every reluctant reader-writer is a treasure trove of ideas, fun and creativity, and a love of story. Group storytelling always brings this out. Take away the need for spelling, grammar, sentence construction and following words across a page, and everyone has a tale to tell.
This week we’ve had wicked ducks called Josephine Skywall, deaf dentists taking out the wrong teeth, the queen getting stuck on top of the Eiffel Tower, and vegetarian T-Rexes rejected by their dino-mates.
Whether it’s storytelling, reading, films or video games, it seems that everyone loves a good yarn. Thank you to the librarians, teachers and Children’s Books Ireland who organise this annual month of celebrating books and, beyond them, the great human gift of storytelling.