Today, 23rd of April, is International Book Day, to us it is a really special date. As you may know, through our SS19 campaign, Summer Reading, we have taken on the challenge to promote reading for the little ones. In boboli we love reading and we wanted to share it with all of you. Our objective is to, bit by bit, let kids discover the amazing adventures of literature. You already know that… a book contains thousands, millions and infinite number of adventures… and, to discover them, you simply have to open its pages.
This Tuesday, the young and the old will surround themselves with stories, adventures and unknown worlds. Promoting reading to children has endless amounts of benefits: it stimulates imagination and creativity, it’s a source of knowledge, it tickles their curiosity and it aids their concentration. As parents’, your main objective is to make reading a habit from a young age.
To discuss all these doubts and worries, today we are talking to Beatriz Millán, who has obtained a degree is Spanish Philology, and is a mother to Martina and Julieta. Millán is a huge fan of children’s literature and, for years, has used her blog and her social media platforms to recommend and review children’s books. Her aim: to create a movement to incentivise reading as a family.
What do parents have to keep in mind when choosing a children’s book for their kids?
The majority of families tend to ask for books appropriate for their children’s age, and even though this is a good guide to make the first decisions, the best thing to do is to look at what the little ones throw themselves at when we go to the library or to a book store.
What do we need to look out for to see if a book will catch our children’s interest?
I think it is very obvious… I don’t know many young kids that don’t like books, as when we read to them it means that we are spending time together, and that is the best gift we could ever give them.
In school they are taught how to read, but is that enough? What should we do at home?
In school they teach them something they could actually do by themselves and therefore they rush the process creating frustration in little girls and boys and their families. Our job as adults is to teach them how to love reading.
What is the best way to transmit to our children that reading is an incredible adventure?
By reading incredible adventures, they have to see us read and be excited about a book, giving them books as presents…
Why is it necessary to pick the right spot to read a book? Does it become part of the story?
Yes and no. When they are young, it is important that books are at their fingertips, but the place itself isn’t that important. My daughters pick the weirdest places to read even though we have beautiful spots to read at home. And I personally carry books with me at all times and I read wherever I can, on public transport, in the dentist’s waiting room or in any café.
When do you think is the best time to sit down with your children to read a book?
Always. It’s always the best time. It doesn’t matter what age they are, the gift of spending time with them and sharing what we are reading is amazing, and their time is limited time until they are about 7 or 8 years old…
Do you think people don’t read enough as a family?
I think there’s not much family time, and the little amount of family time there is, it is dedicated to obligations (homework, logistics to cook dinner…) and it is not dedicated enough to the pleasure of being 100% present. That’s why I find story time before going to sleep so essential, after a whole day with no breaks.
New technologies are becoming more and more present in our children’s lives. How can we minimize their impact on traditional reading?
Not considering it as an option for leisure. Tablets have a specific role and they can’t be used for everything. For example, we use them when we travel, to put on movies for the little ones and that’s it. Tablets are not present in our day to day lives and look, we survive!
What can a traditional book offer that an e-book cannot? How does that affect their development?
Obviously the format, the beauty of the paper and the illustrations. The excitement of opening a book for the first time and smelling it. Being able to put something between its pages, like a cinema ticket, a drawing… The mental connections are created when a kid turns a page with their own hands… and it also doesn’t need electricity to work, of course. E-books will never be able to be compared to real paper.
And finally, can you give us a small list of your favourite children’s books to recommend to our little readers on this very special day?
- Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
- Wild by Emily Hughes
- Candy Pink by Adela Turin
- Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole
- The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
- Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
- The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr