World Book Day is fast approaching, and it’s a great event that really broadens kid’s tastes on books. They’ll be willing to try different genres, authors, maybe even look for the more obscure stuff. It’s customary to dress your kids up as a character from a book, but there are a couple of unwritten rules:
Firstly it should be a character from a book they have ACTUALLY read. There are a plethora of characters out there, so don’t just cop out with Harry Potter. Also, I’ve never come across a 4 year old that has even attempted Harry Potter. Stick with characters from books you’ve read together and get creative. Otherwise you’ll end up with a room full of BFG’s and Sophie’s. Roald Dhal greatly influenced my World Book Day costumes as a kid. I was BFG one year, the Fantastic Mr. Fox, Willy Wonka another. Think of the different characters.
Secondly, it’s a bit of a cop out if you do dress your kid up as a character from a book they haven’t read but have seen the film (the 2 are never alike).
Thirdly, use the next couple of months to get them into different types of books. Poe, RL Stein (kids love a good ghost story). If you have kids that are older (and you deem them mature enough for the content), introduce them to Brent Weeks, David Chandler, Even some of Stephen Kings milder stuff.
The whole point of World Book Day is to get kids into reading, and although JK Rowling has got entire generations into reading, she can’t do it all on her own, so give your kids variety. Introduce them to Masque of the Red Death, the Goosebumps series of books, take them to a book shop and let them pick the books they like. Reading is a powerful pastime, and is proven to improve kids concentration and also helps with sleeping patterns before bed as it is mentally tiring.
It’s also a great way to increase and develop creativity, imagination and general storytelling, especially if it’s aurally done too. Until you’ve done this, you don’t know if you have a budding actor in the family, or the next Shakespeare in the making. You could discover they have a proclivity for poetry.
There are all sorts of things that reading can do, including improving your relationship with your child if you read together, or read the same book and discuss it. Or if you have the time, set up a monthly book club for your kids and their friends, where they each read the same book over a month and then discuss it.
Put on a few nibbles and drinks and there you have it, a fully formed book club. You could even rope some of your friends in and have your own club in a different room. It’s a great way as well to keep in touch with friends.