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Wild Things > The Spark to Read

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message 1: by SCPL (new)

SCPL (st_catharines_public_library) | 542 comments Mod
Both Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) and Beverley Cleary began writing children’s books at a time when some of the reading material for children was not engaging with children. Beverley Cleary has been a children’s librarian and could remember children, especially boys, asking her for books about children like them. Geisel was reportedly challenged to write “a non-boring book for beginning readers,” and he was given a list of two hundred to three hundred words that were considered digestible by early readers. The results of both of those efforts were The Cat in the Hat and Henry Huggins, along with many other stories through the years.

There is something special about a favourite book or story that gets children excited to read. I am a bad example because I loved books as a child and didn’t need encouragement to read. I do remember being perplexed when I was a child because my brother didn’t seem to have the same passion for stories. In the end, what he was interested in reading was fact books, nonfiction instead of fiction. Do you remember a book that sparked your interest, or someone else’s interest, in reading, either as a child or an adult? What attracts you in a book that makes it exciting to read?

~Anne


message 2: by Diana (last edited Dec 19, 2018 07:17AM) (new)

Diana (librariandi) | 23 comments Anne, like you, I absolutely loved books as a child and happily borrowed a ton of books on each of our weekly library visits. I can remember devouring Archie comics as young as age 5, and soon after, I could not get enough Beverley Cleary. In regard to the Archie comics, I want to say that I know there are some adults out there who feel like graphic novels and comic books aren't "real" books, but my opinion couldn't be more different. Especially for reluctant readers, if these kinds of books are what draws them then what really matters is their excitement about reading and the fact that they ARE reading...the format shouldn't really matter.


message 3: by Jules (new)

Jules (missblythe) I think the uniqueness of a book is what inspires me to read it, but it also has to be believable and well-written. I read Lynn Johnston's "for Better or for worse" comic books over and over as a kid. She created great characters. Beverly Cleary was FUNNY. The Mouse and the motorcycle was one of my favorites. I recently read all of her books again and was still impressed by them. They were still hilarious and the characters were so believable. I found that as an adult I noticed different aspects of the story like how Ramona and her friends played outside by themselves and used their imaginations instead of being glued to electronics. I also found myself reacting to the kids as a "parent" and wondering how I might deal with a monkey like Ramona. She would be so much fun! :)


message 4: by SCPL (new)

SCPL (st_catharines_public_library) | 542 comments Mod
Thank you so much for your comments Diana and Jules! I completely agree with you Diana, reading is reading, no matter what the format. I also read a ton of Archie comics and I could reread them so many times. Comic books and graphic novels are so important when it comes to helping kids get into reading and I am glad that they are finally being recognized as such.

Jules, Beverley Cleary books are such fun aren't they? I just love that she saw such a gap in books for kids and decided to write the books that kids actually wanted to read. There is also something special about rereading books as an adult and discovering something new. I can only imagine parenting a child like Ramona. It would be a fun adventure and never a dull moment!


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