Sunday, July 28, 2013

Down the memory lane

How often I repent for not having preserved my scribbles from childhood!! I did not have great organisational skills as a kid (and neither do I currently) which resulted in the lost pages of my childhood artistry. But my current fellowship with Teach For India is letting me bring back all the lovely memories of childhood dreams. I sneaked into reading many a wonderful books that I bought for my kids. The first set of books I bought them included "Once Upon a Time", "Arabian Nights" and "Akbar and Birbal" series. The pictures in one of the "Akbar and Birbal" books took me back to my school days when I was 11. I had drawn and colored a scene where Akbar the great does an act of great foolishness. Ah! how lovely the kids' books are.

I read 15 odd story books in 3 hours without taking a break. No wonder my kids are mad behind reading stories with pictures. I was thrilled to read stories in Indian context. I was never a good reader in my childhood and now is the time I'm compensating for it. If I did not have the responsibility of planning my teaching hours, I would spend countless hours copying all the pictures in those books.

Now coming to the review of these books, I must say they are a compulsory read for anybody (adults included). For the kids, the illustrations make the books very inviting and the simple language is suitable for kids with a reading level of upto 5th grade. The story setting and characters are something kids can relate to very easily. There is an introduction to a lot of new professions and general vocabulary which the kids are in dire need of. What elders struggle to teach kids through countless lessons and dull activities, these books teach them tirelessly. Kids are introduced to an array of bad behaviours and suitable punishments. What bad things elders try to generally hide from kids are put forth in a very delicate balance so that the kids are aware of those things. The books are filled with fairies, thieves, idiots, kings and many such fantasies, which kids are sold for. And above all these books are fun!!

It is important for elders (read parents and teachers) to read these books before the kids and subtly relate their behavior to the morals of the story.

The best part: The pictures are so easy to copy down and color.

“There's always room for a story that can transport people to another place.” 
― J.K. Rowling

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