Reading, Watching and Telling Stories

Books are something to be celebrated. The words and pictures within them connect us to others, engage us, help us learn about the world and give us an imaginative sense of creativity. Stories are an essential part of our lives- whether we read them, or tell them.

Today is National Read a Book Day - a day to celebrate the joy that a book can bring. It’s great to raise awareness and call attention to the joys and importance of reading. Most importantly, it’s a great way to celebrate books and the power of sharing a story. As vital, fun and engaging that stories and books are, sometimes we need to think of alternate ways to engage with a book.

The conversations we have after sharing stories help me to understand how my small person views the world

In our family, bedtime stories are one of our favourite parts of the day. No matter what has happened in our day this is our time to curl up together, relax and unwind before sleep. It gives us a chance to connect, chat and often laugh together. The conversations we have after sharing stories help me to understand how my small person views the world, and what matters to him. There is no doubt that we both value the time we spend sharing a story, but here’s my confession – sometimes the bedtime story doesn’t happen – or we choose a slightly alternative way of sharing our night-time story.

Some nights, instead of reading our bedtime story, we curl up and watch it together. There are lots of videos of authors reading their own books, or likewise, animated film versions of favourite books. Watching a video of Michael Rosen reading We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, with an enthusiasm and tone I could only dream of, brought the book back to life. We watched it on repeat, we talked about it. The video influenced and changed the way we read the story aloud, but more importantly it refreshed our love of the book.

A friend of mine was telling me about how bedtime stories in her house sometimes turn into a game of charades. This gives them a chance to chat, discuss and connect with each other. It’s a great way to unwind while making up and telling their own stories inspired by their game. It’s her family’s unique way of sharing a story, sometimes inspired by the books they’re reading, and sometimes not.

Stories are everywhere. They’re in books, they’re in conversations, they’re in our imaginations and most importantly, they’re in our everyday life. Even when sharing a book seems impossible, we can still share a story and these stories are the first step in connecting children to books.


Main image: Picsea (@Picsea )