As an adult, I’m not embarrassed to say I like reading children’s books. After a long day, I find them easier to unwind with. As a children’s author, it helps me pick up some writing skills too. Importantly, as well as being fun, they are fundamental in teaching.
In my recent post about a children’s book called Grandpa’s Great Escape, by David Walliams, I discussed the insights it gave me about dementia despite being a doctor. It likely provoked curiosity and learning for many adults and children alike about dementia.
There are many things that stories can teach children i.e. to develop language, they help build imagination and help children relax. Reading aloud can help build confidence and allow children to connect when reading with others.
Stories can allow children to cope with difficult feelings and situations. For example, in Grandpa’s Great Escape, the book discusses the difficult issue of grandparents being moved to a nursing home and becoming unwell. In my book, Sten and the Gold Mine, I wanted to discuss the loss of a family member, in this case, the main character’s dad. However, rather than being just a sad topic, the loss empowers the main character to save his friend.
Stories can also teach new and complex concepts. Take Johnny and the Dead by Terry Pratchett. The main character here can talk to and see ghosts, which leads him to make efforts to rescue the local cemetery. In Sten and The Gold Mine, I set the scene of my book in the Namib desert. It is an unusual location, but it provides the opportunity to help children learn about life in such a harsh environment.
I’m sure there are much more things stories can teach. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
If you are interested, Sten and the Gold Mine is available to pre-order now on amazon.