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A live reading or alive reading?

It’s always fun to meet little bookworms, so when one of my son’s former educators invited me to do a reading at his old nursery, I jumped at the opportunity to share Rawry’s story with the little troublemakers there! It’s amazing to see young kids get excited about reading stories, but also how they interact with the characters!

I love talking to children about stories, and especially to get them thinking about what could happen next. What do you think of Rawry? Why do you think he did that? What happened in the end? What else could he do to fix his missing tooth problem? And what could have happened if he chose another way? I am fascinated to see how their young minds work and how reality gets intertwined with fantasy, where everything seems to coexist in the same time and space for them. I will forever be fascinated by this unique ability kids have to "make believe." In their minds, the existence of talking dinosaurs is an unquestionable fact, all because they vividly imagine these things with their mind's eye. So, for them, it must be true. I often wonder why and when we grow out of this ability to make believe in our own fantasies.

I also find it incredibly interesting to observe how young kids react to Rawry and his cunning plans and ideas. It brings out lots of giggles! I often receive confessions about random facts, like how they hate pineapple (completely random, right!?) or how they love dinosaurs and monster trucks (another random one). But most importantly, they express their deep love for storybooks. I absolutely adore their honesty and lack of filters, and once again, I wish we could cultivate that more as adults. Where has that pure honesty gone?

Of course, as adults navigating life's challenges, it's important to be realistic and not expect Dino Mama to pay our rent when it's due. However, it would be wonderful if we could still maintain this "make believe" mentality when things get tough. We could visualize solutions in our mind's eye, see ourselves as the superheroes of our own fate, talk ourselves out of sadness, and create our own happy endings. Now, this may sound a bit self-help-oriented, but isn't that what children's authors aim to do through our stories? Teach young children that they can, they will, and they should be whatever they want to be when they grow up? Make. Believe.

I was beyond intrigued to hear what they enjoy reading about (or rather, being read to about). Astley Baker Davies would be thrilled to know that Peppa is still number one with kids, and probably immortal by now. I don't think there will ever be a time when a snorting pig won't be a hit with kids worldwide.

However, my greatest joy in reading to kids and discussing my books with them comes from the fact that they become interested in creating their own books and stories. They dream up fun and adventurous plots with their favorite heroes and plan how to bring their thoughts to life through illustrations. They want to illustrate their own picture books! How fantastic and pure is that? What better way to express their feelings and unleash their creativity than through a combination of words and drawing? Let’s not underestimate the power of reading, the power of human connection and the especially, the power of stories.

…. This visit was a perfect reminder of why I love children —because they are pure souls, honest and unfiltered. They are carriers of raw creativity and emotion, a daily reminder of what we once had and lost, and what we should strive to reclaim.

If you'd like to know more about Rawry and his missing tooth problem, visit the Books section on this website, for a brief description and links on where to purchase the book from. Also, be sure to check out the free activity pack on there too!


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