“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” – Albert Einstein
During a period of time I worked as an English teacher in a kindergarten in one of Benghazi’s private schools. Reading for the children was one of the best ways for them to learn and get a better grasp of the fundamentals of the language. I also considered it the best part about my job. There is a certain beauty in watching their eyes spark in surprise and anticipation whenever something happens in the story that brings me back to my childhood when my mother used to read to me everyday before going to sleep.
One time after the lesson was over, I decided to do a little survey and asked the children if anyone reads to them at home. The results took me by surprise,almost all of them said no one had ever read to them before. Reading for children has many benefits like improving their thinking . You can use reading to your children as a way to spend more time with them. It also helps teach them how to apply logic in various scenarios, recognize cause and effect, right and wrong, utilize good judgment and discuss their feelings and ideas. Their personality grows anddevelops a sense of individuality .
So after that day I decided to make a reading list for my students, but I made sure to pick books that had brave, intelligent and independent heroines as an attempt to shatter the stereotypical image of the ‘damsel in distress’ waiting for prince charming to save her. When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity . You always remember the books that were your favourite at that phase in time.
Today happens to be the international children’s book day! so take a moment and inspire the young ones in your life to read more. I’m going to share my little list with you, maybe it will help out some parents pick out what to read next for their kids. And i should mention i read almost all of these as a grownup and i did enjoy them very much. Here comes the list:
• Coraline, By Neil Gaiman
Coraline, is one of my favorite books. It’s funny, weird and magical. Neil Gaiman wrote it for his daughters, to give them someone to lookup and relate to ( I know right? best dad ever). Coraline is an adventurous brave and really smart little girl. it’s a story about bravery, a talking cat, missing parents, and an evil witch that impersonates people’s mothers to steal their souls. It’s different from your normal fairytale but different is good right?
• Anne of Green Gables, By L.M Montgomery
Anne Shirley is an ambitious, honest orphan with an imagination so vast. She reaches the door step of the Cuthberts siblings by mistake when they have decided to adopt a boy to help them in their farm. It’s emotional and moving story ( you should read it with box of kleenex ). Anne teaches you to always be kind and true to yourself and those around you.
• Nancy Drew, By Edward Stratemeyer
A series of books about detectives for kids. Nancy is a smart, wise and loyal young girl who loves to solve crimes and puzzles. She’s always getting into trouble but she can get herself and others out of it. She never gives up and is always returning to investigate another crime. These books were turned into a move in 2007 starring Emma Roberts
• The Secret Garden, By Frances Hodgson Burnett
The title is attractive, makes you wonder what is so secretive about this garden right? The story starts with Mary Lenox. A spoiled, selfish, savage orphan. It then leads you to the dark reasons behind this child’s misery and how she turns to a lovable, kind girl who loves adventures at the end.
• A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Meg, a shy, stubborn, generous, girl who’s really good with math. Meg’s father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. The story is full of adventure and enjoyable for both children and adults.
• Madeline, By Ludwig Bemelmans
I’m sure you’ve all heard of Madeline. It was shown on spacetoon years ago. A smart Parisian girl with red hair who loves to solve problems. One of the nicest children’s books I’ve read and I think you’d enjoy reading to your kids.
• Harriet the Spy, By Louise Fitzhugh
Harriet is a girl whose dream is to be a writer when she grows up. She starts writing secret journals of her everyday life. This includes spying on her neighbours, friends and fellow students. She watches what they do and writes her opinion about their lives. It all backfires against her when her journals get stolen and she gets bullied because of it. Can she save her friendships and continue to be a spy? An exciting story filled with adventure that was turned into a movie in 1996 starring Michelle Trachtenberg.
• Matilda, By Roald Dahl
Matilda is a little girl, who’s exceptionally good at reading and math, and teaches herself to do complicated problems in her head, as well as telekinesis. She surpasses her troubles and parents indifference through reading. She’s humble, smart, fair, innocent and scale justice. Matilda is a pack of all the good things you’d want your children to learn.
• Alice Adventures in Wonderland, By Lewis Carroll
The story begins with a young girl Alice, and her sister sitting on a riverbank when she sees a curious looking white rabbit. She soon after falls into the magical world of Wonderland, where she meets a series of strange creatures and starts her adventures.
• Harry Potter, By J.K Rowling
As they say, i saved the best for last! I can not think about a powerful heroine without mentioning the most important Hermione Granger. I loved her from the very beginning, when she introduced herself on Hogwarts Express. She’s strong, independent and isn’t afraid of declaring her love for reading and studying. Plus we all know Harry and Rom wont stand a chance without her. And i’m not ashamed to admit, i’m 22 and still see Hermione as my role model.
• Please take in consideration your children’s ages when choosing what to read ( If it’s on this list ). The books here are divert and suitable for different ages. And you know what they say; Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.
Written By : J.E