This book review is a little different. I have in front of me a copy of the newly released Raising Readers – How to Nurture a Child’s Love of Books (UQP 2019) by Megan Daley. Not only have I read this book, but I have now covered the text with highlighted passages and scribbled margin notes! (Something I NEVER do to books…)
I have also inscribed this copy to my daughter and her partner, with the words that it contains everything they need to know to instil a love of reading in Anaya (my granddaughter). As I flip through the pages, the highlighted colours – green, yellow and pink – shout out at me all the tips and tricks I found useful, and even more importantly, all the fantastic book suggestions for every age. This is a book that should be read by every parent, every carer, every teacher, every child-care worker and every librarian. This is a book that will not only guide you as to how and why you should care so much about your children’s reading lives but will offer practical advice and down-to-earth content that is easy to read, up-to-date, sensible and reasonable. This book will show you how to use books, and all other forms of reading material, whether you buy them new from bookstores or gather them pre-loved from second-hand shops, or whether you continuously update your shelves with library books.
The author is a teacher librarian and is possibly one of the most passionate readers (and champions of children’s literature) on the planet. This non-fiction book allows you to dip in and out, choosing the topics that most interest you at the time, or you can read it cover to cover, absorbing all the wonderful information and storing it for later.
Here is a glimpse of what’s inside. Chapter 1 is titled Raising a Reader – The Early Years and covers important tips for babies up to five years of age, including singing, playful reading and reading routines. The second chapter is about Reading and School and discusses everything you ever wanted to ask about phonics, sight words, readers and digital technology. Chapter 3 is in praise of The School Library (and librarians!) and book awards. Chapters follow on everything from reading spaces to makerspacers, from kids with reading challenges to how to use picture books at all ages. Megan Daley covers every literary genre and PROVIDES LISTS OF BOOKS FOR EACH GENRE AND EVERY AGE RANGE. Invaluable. (Those sections are particularly highlighted!) She talks about book clubs, book competitions, book launches, Book Week, ebooks, audio books, apps and gaming. And she finishes with chapters on Reading for the Future – Sustainability and Nature, Reading Mindfully, Acknowledging and Reflecting Diversity, and some excellent tips on handling dark reading content and everything from how to make a Book Week costume to how to host a book party to how to be an excellent book gifter. She includes extensive contributions from authors and children’s literature experts and a comprehensive endnotes section. This book condenses over 20 years of professional experience, and the voice of her popular blog Children’s Books Daily, to provide an essential guide to books, literature, reading and most importantly, to the young reader in your life.