Teaching children to love literature is one of my passions. Allowing children to form a book club could be such a fun way to enthuse young readers to delve more into literature.
I have often spoken about my fondness for my book club. Meeting with those girls is always one of the highlights of my month. Not only do we discuss literature, we eat, drink (normally tea, but on occasion we have been known to have a little tipple of something stronger!) and discuss so much more than the book. We have really reached a level where we just share life with one another.
Scholastic sent me a book (published in March) called “The Bush Book Club” by award winning Australian children’s author, Margaret Wild and illustrated by Ben Wood. Let me tell you. I LOVED this book. Scholastic regularly sends me books to review, and I do choose my favourites to share with you. But this one, it’s my absolute favourite! I think because Margaret Wild and Ben Wood have really captured what it means to love books along with that magical moment when you first fall in love with reading independently.
I can remember that moment for me. My mother was reading aloud an Enid Blyton book, “The Children of the Cherry Tree Farm” to my sister and I while she breastfed my brother. All of a sudden she stopped mid story. I don’t know why. Maybe she stopped breastfeeding, got too busy or just thought the story was a little bit too old, which in fact it was. However, I just really wanted to hear the ending. (It’s a weakness of mine, wanting to know the ending. I’ve had many a late night waiting to see the end of a film or staying up late to finish a book.) I took the book and finished reading it to myself. I was only in year one, and it wasn’t a particularly easy book to read – not at all like Amelia Jane or the Faraway Tree. In fact, the story wasn’t really that interesting and I had to skip quite a few hard words, but I did read it. After I finished I knew I could read anything, and I did. In our family, I was often the kid with the nose stuck in a book.
In “The Bush Book Club” all the animals belong to The Bush Book Club. All except Bilby. He can’t stay still long enough to read. (And oh how I recognised Bilby. I have taught him before, I’m sure of that.) Bilby is quite happy to not belong to the book club, it’s obvious that Bilby thinks reading is boring. It takes being locked in the book club overnight by accident for Bilby to discover the joys of reading. Mind you, Bilby has a series of very inventive ways of using books before he actually opens the page and starts reading.
I’ve been planning on writing this post for absolutely ages because as soon as I read this story, I immediately wanted to have the children belonging to my book club Mums around for our very own children’s book club, in the style of The Bush Book Club. We did try very hard to organise this, but they are all very busy ladies and this is a very busy time of year, and we just couldn’t pull it off – yet. When we do, I will be sure to write another blog post about it.
Following the format of The Bush Book Club, I was going to read the story to the children first, then the children would play with the books like Bilby did before sharing with each other their favourite books. Of course we would need to end with some food and playtime.
My children have not discovered the joys of independent reading yet, so it could be any book they enjoy. My son in year 2 really struggles with reading, despite the fact that he was read aloud to in the womb and every day of his life. He has moments where he will be interested, but I’m trusting that one day something will just ignite for him. In the meantime, he would still be very keen to join in book club because he does love literature and loves story time. At the moment he’s obsessing on non-fiction books particularly about farming. I think he’s just about got every book possible out of the school library.
If you are a book lover or belong to a book club, this will be a book I guarantee you will enjoy reading to your child. It’s a great one for teacher’s also. I know I would use it in a classroom to enthuse children before setting a book report task.
And here’s the exciting news! Scholastic are giving five copies away to Caitlin’s Happy Heart readers.
To win a copy, please answer the following question below AND leave your contact details. I would also feel honoured if you ‘liked’ my Facebook page. The winner will be chosen on Sunday May 4th at 8pm. The winners will be chosen according to the story they tell when answering.
I’m linking up with Essentially Jess and the very fabulous IBOT.