A Child of Books


Book Information

Candlewick September 6, 2016
Language Arts Curriculum

This is a clarion call.

Story.... what would our world look like if we did not share story? We are wired for story. We dream in story. If you go to a lecture, the part you will remember five years later is the story they told...not the statistics they put up on the powerpoint.

Stories give us words and ways to see ourselves and describe ourselves...and especially to find our place in this complicated place morphing exponentially around us.

But more and more school systems are opting to delete that budget item called "librarian" and replace it with a clerk. More and more schools frown on educators reading aloud in the classroom... seen as wasting time.

More and more the surveys show that children aren't reading.... and that is not to say that children don't want to read... and that is not to say that children don't want their parents to read to them.

Can you remember the books your teachers read to you when you were in elementary school? My third grade teacher read us the Boxcar Children..the original one. It has stayed with me to this day. My sixth grade teacher read Kontiki. I can assure you I would never have chosen it in the library myself. I remember that one too.

So, when I picked up Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston's new book, I knew I was home. The front cover features a young girl in a sailor-collared dress perched on the top of a standing red volume that sports a beautiful golden keyhole in its front cover.

The book is a brilliant celebration of the value, the wonder and the power of story and books. If you are like me, when you open the front cover and discover the book titles with their authors spanning out in tiny hen's teeth sized font, you will absolutely be enchanted. Your heart will go pitty pat. You will be so darn glad those books are still there holding on to all those magical spaces and offering all those magnificent childhood journeys.

How many of them did you read as a child? Now, how many of them have your children or your grandchildren read? Anyone feel that sense of uneasiness? I do.

"I am a child of books. I come from a world of stories. And upon my imagination I float."

Oh my gosh.

The waves the child floats upon are sections of story from The Voyages of Doctor Doolittle and from The Swiss Family Robinson and from The Count of Monte Cristo. Yes, the words are there and they are going to make you want to turn the book sideways so you can read them or read them again as the case may be and get drawn back into that incredibly special place that the minds of Alexander Dumas and Hugh Lofting and Johann David Wyss and so many other master storytellers created for us.

The story in this book is a journey through mountains of words and forests of words and clouds of song. It's absolutely brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. The story is a clarion call to remember story and not to make the mistake of letting story slip away from our children and to see clearly what story can do FOR children.

A place where anyone can come...if only we tell them about it..if only we invite them to join us there.

Who will they become if we don't?

40 pages  Ages 5-You   978-0763690779

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com

User reviews

1 review
Believe the hype on this one. This is a brilliant little gem, full of typographical finesse and unrivaled charm. My favorite new book of the year.
Top 10 Reviewer 9 reviews
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