I am going to be up front with my biases – I love fairytales. Always have and always will.
I grew up on a steady diet of fairytales and folklore in a landscape where it seemed as if they really could happen.
Oral storytelling is a strong part of traditional Irish culture and I was lucky enough to attend regular sessions at our local library, community centre and around the campfire in Cub Scouts (Sorry Brownies but getting my woodcraft and stargazing badges in the woods at night was far more interesting than getting my homemaker badge by doing chores!).
I grew up in a family of readers with books jam-packed onto shelves with those who had the skill of fitting more in being highly revered.
Seeing the banister along the stairs as wasted space my mother converted it into a narrow bookcase, perfect to hold small paperbacks. To this day it still leads to members of the family forgetting why they were going up or down the stairs and settling down for a read.
Until our local library (and the one after that!) closed, we visited every week, lamenting only the fact that there was a limit of nine books. This led to some clever negotiation with slots on the library card highly prized in the trade of household chores.
In one room we have a bookcase of special books – ancient, clothbound, illustrated with colour plates, etc. Books from that bookcase could only be taken with mum’s permission, after a quick inspection of hands and the table to make sure they wouldn’t be damaged.
I still remember the excitement of being old enough and responsible enough to read my first books from that shelf – Greek Myths, The Hobbit and Andrew Lang’s fairy books.
In this blog I would like to look at the diversity of children’s literature available and talk about the importance of supporting a child to become a reader, not just someone who can read.
I am also passionate about languages and the development of multilingual and bilingual education so I will often post articles about language learning and bilingualism, as well as lifelong learning.
As a primary teacher I will also post lesson resources or links that I find useful and may be helpful for other teachers out there, whether in a mainstream school or home setting.
I hope the posts I share prove interesting and helpful and I look forward to learning more from hearing different perspectives and ideas.