The Library Archives and a Love of Books

Our little girl has a love of books and was really excited to browse the books at her school’s week of hosting the travelling book fair.  She had been promised a new book from us and after a quick perusal of the shelves, made a bee-line for What the Ladybird Heard Next
by Julia Donaldson.

The library archives and world book day reading literacy history books 2

This surprised me a little because she tends to be much more into chapter books than picture books these days.  She even got a new book storage cushion for Christmas!

It must be the very clever rhymes and therefore the rhythm of Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len’s misdemeanours!..

We’ve just recently moved house and joined the local library.  With our little girl enjoying reading so much, we were keen to get registered as soon as possible.

The ‘switch over’ from our old library got me to looking at the history of our old library accounts.  You might call them ‘the archives’.

The library archives and world book day reading literacy history books 1

You can just about barely (!) see in our little girl’s account that she has borrowed 289 books since she joined as a baby.  And that’s not including the books she’s got a home, some of which she has read over and over and over again!

Thankfully, the world of books is still at her fingertips and she loves to go along with us and using the machine to take out and return books.

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Do you visit your local library very often?  What does your child like best about it?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments below 🙂 

*This post contains an affiliate link which means that if you happen to purchase something from the link you click, I get to have a little happiness too! 🙂 

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A novel book storage idea

When our little girl unwrapped a cushion from her Grandma and Pop for Christmas, she was really excited… and so was I!

Book cushion a novel book storage idea reading nook library organisation

Having been to a Christmas Fayre, my lovely Mum saw these brilliant cushions that double up as a novel book storage idea!

When our little girl saw that her cousin had a similar cushion, she was even more excited.

When she unwrapped 5 new Rainbow Magic books, she slotted a couple into the little pockets on her new cushion.

What a neat idea!

The cushion now flits between her reading nook and her bed, as do the cats most days.  I’m convinced that the cats enjoy a read when she’s not there!  She’s even been known to take it in the car with her over the Christmas break!

Our little girl chose to spend some of her Christmas money on a Rainbow Magic bookmark, which arrived just after Christmas.

What I love is that our little girl is being so very patient (mostly) because she’s pre-ordered another Rainbow Magic book for delivery in March…

Whereas I… well I haven’t got a lovely book cushion but I have managed to explore our new (to us) library and brought a couple of books home 🙂

To be perfectly honest, I was really disappointed with ‘Shadows of the Workhouse’ by Jennifer Worth.  Having devoured a couple of her other books, I had high hopes for this one but just couldn’t get past the first couple of chapters which seemed more like character studies than the interesting insight into history that I was expecting.

So I tried a different genre, recommended to me.  This one is by Liane Moriarty ‘Big Little Lies’ and I am enjoying it.  It’s hard to put down and I’ll hopefully report back in a few weeks 🙂

Books for children – developing speech and language

books for children to help develop todder's pre-schooler's toddlers preschoolers childs kids childrens children language speech parenting literacy blog early years main abc pic final edit

I make no secret of my passionate belief that reading books to your children every day helps to develop their speech and language skills.  Right from when our daughter was born and was only just home from hospital as a newborn, I would read her cloth books while she happily kicked and gurgled under her play gym and at feeding time, in fact any time really.  Then she moved on to board books and took her abc’s and her 123’s in her stride.

Fast forward to 5 years later and there is no denying that all of this has stood her in very good stead with her literacy.  While in her first year at school, she has learnt her phonics, learnt to read and write and just recently her teacher told us that she is doing ‘fantastic’ with her spelling.  All of this reading to her and with her in the foundations of her early years can surely be no coincidence…

So, which books are recommended to develop your child’s speech and language skills?

From read-aloud, nursery rhyme and picture books like ‘A Child’s Garden of Verses’ by Robert Louis Stevenson…

books to help develop todder's pre-schooler's toddlers preschoolers childs kids childrens children language speech parenting literacy blog early years 1

and books for the late talker like ‘The Einstein Syndrome’ by Thomas Sowell…

books to help develop todder's pre-schooler's toddlers preschoolers childs kids childrens children language speech parenting literacy blog early years einstein syndrome thomas sowell 1

to books about animals and classic stories like ‘Sammy: The Classroom Guinea Pig’ by Alix Berenzy…

books to help develop todder's pre-schooler's toddlers preschoolers childs kids childrens children language speech parenting literacy blog early years sammy classroom guinea pig alix berenzy 1

…and let’s not forget the role that letter blocks and flash cards play like ‘Read with Biff, Chip & Kipper: Fun with Words’…

books to help develop todder's pre-schooler's toddlers preschoolers childs kids childrens children language speech parenting literacy blog early years biff chip kipper flashcards 1

Indeed, we used flashcards when our little bear first started her reading and it helped immensely.  It also helped that we had picked up the flashcards through hubby’s work book club that happened to be the same series that our bear’s class was using – the Biff, Chip and Kipper series from Oxford Reading Tree.  By turning it into a game, our bear had no idea that she was learning!

Of course, along with reading books to and with your child, talking to your child is a great stepping stone to great vocab, literacy and speech.

So tell me, which books did you or do you enjoy reading with your child?  Were/are any of them the same ones that you read as a child?

Share in the comments below the link badges!

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The Twinkle Diaries

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‘Aprons and Silverspoons’ ~ a must-read!

papery peep aprons and silverspoons mollie moran 1930s kitchen maid

To say that I found this book fascinating is an understatement.  It’s fair to say that I’m intrigued with how people used to live years ago (not all that long ago in this case, in the grand scheme of things).  I love Downton Abbey (though I haven’t seen the whole series, sadly), I love anything and everything Jane Austen related, I love reading/watching well-researched fiction and non-fiction about the class divides and how people used to live.  Way back when I was at school, I have distinct memories of a programme called ‘How We Used to Live’.

This book most certainly did not disappoint.  How times have changed!  Mollie chose to work in domestic service against working in a shop.  The only other option being the Workhouse…  which was most certainly not a good option.  As Moran re-tells, domestic service involved starting at the bottom of the ‘food chain’, literally getting down on hands and needs and scrubbing and scrubbing, and scrubbing some more.  Pretty much from dawn.

While reading this book, I found myself shuddering at the conditions that Moran and her counterparts worked in.  But do you know what really amazed me?  That it was perfectly acceptable and there was relatively little whinging done out loud.  These people just got on with it… working their fingers to the bone!

Do read the book, it’s a very easy to read and goes really well with a nice hot cup of your favourite brew and a cheeky biscuit 😉

Consider if you were in Anne Frank’s shoes…

The theme game Anne frank outdoors

The bookcase door inside Anne Frank Huis, Amsterdam

 Picture source: free-city-guides.com

When I was younger I read ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ and the story of Miep Gies who helped to hide the Frank family et al.  I was in awe of this young girl who yearned and ached to go outside; yearned and ached to be free.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to visit The Anne Frank House and Museum in Amsterdam.  From the minute I stepped through that concealed entrance and walked up the steps into ‘The Annex’, I was walking in her proverbial shoes (and of the other people she hid with).

I saw where she had lived, saw where she had slept, felt the atmosphere still lingering, looked out of the high window and saw the same bell tower that Anne Frank had seen.

I was humbled.  I was intrigued.  I was sad.  I was claustrophobic.  I was privileged to experience ‘The Annex’ (though not in the same way, thankfully).  I unashamedly shed a tear.     And as our tour came to an end, I walked back down the stairs, back through the concealed entrance, back out of the museum.  I walked back outside.  I was free.

I was free to take in a  lungful of fresh air.  I will try to never take the outdoors for granted again.

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