Open door to world of words

Gillian McAinsh

IT IS Christmas next week and although the days when your auntie gave you a book voucher may be long gone, many families still believe it is vital to open children’s eyes to the wonders of the printed page.

If you are in one of these families, you will love Jay Heale’s Hooked on Books. Written as part of the Help Your Child Series by Metz Press publishing house, his paperback has been re-issued this year after originally being published in 1994.

Heale wrote – and now has updated it – to explain why and what to read to your child, thus helping not only parents but anyone who is interested in finding out what books children might enjoy.

“There is no child who cannot be hooked on books provided the right book is produced at the right moment – and the young people of South Africa desperately need books,” he writes of his “ideas” book, which he suggests you dip into from time to time rather than read in one sitting.

Heale also sees how picture books are wonderful tools to draw young children into the magical world of words. For example, he suggests, “each time your child expresses particular delight in a book, photocopy one picture. Cut out the main character and add it to a growing frieze of characters”.

Apart from chapters on different ages, there also is a “treasury of recommended books”.

Also, apart from being a wonderful resource to help you find the right book for a special child, Hooked on Books deserves to find a home on the bookshelf of each and every school library.

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