The Magical world of books

Today is World Books Day, and I thought it apt that I talk about books(as if I don’t do enough of that already) 🙂 But then, this is something I can go on and on about 🙂

One of things I have loved about being in the UK is how reading is so entrenched in the collective psyche of the people here. Long back, husband and I were bemused that one of the major problems being discussed in the news was the fact that children are not reading as much as they used to. They were discussing that these days parents are too busy to read a bed time story to their children. Both of us were bemused because at that time, we were more used to news headlines about political parties and their antics.

I also loved the fact that I was not the only person with a book in public transport. I used to get weird looks in Bangalore when I would wait for a bus or try to read in a bus. I swear! Here, everybody has a book, it felt like heaven. The libraries here, I have said it often enough- are fabulous! They are well-stocked, well run and it is an absolute pleasure to go to a library.

After daughter was born, we got to know about ‘Bookstart‘. Children here receive Bookstart packs at two milestones of their lives – in the first year, and between 3 and 4 years – if I remember correctly. It is a great way of getting children used to books, and stories. Poohi had got it, and I remember being totally impressed. We had already bought books for her way before she got her first pack, but I still found it fascinating. The selection of books were so appropriate, and she loved the books! More than the actual books, what fascinated me was the commitment to ensure that every child had access to books. And I do agree that no baby is too young to hear stories from her parents.

Husband was sceptical when I told her silly stories, or read to her, when she was a tiny thing(she was only days old when I started). Today, however, he is as convinced as I am, that it makes a difference. I am not sure if it makes a difference academically  – but I can see how much she loves books.

As she progressed through the stages of nursery, and big school, one thing I can see throughout is the emphasis on reading. It is an integral part of the curriculum. Their reading is assessed and the books that they read are upgraded, whenever the teachers feel that the child has moved to higher levels.

And at every stage, you would find measures to encourage the culture of books. Like the travelling book fair that I mentioned. The school has a benefit as well. Every book that we buy, the school ‘earns’ some free books – which is great, for state schools, which are dependent on government funding. Apart from that, it certainly encourages children to pick out books, and read. Like this voucher which entitles you to a £1 off your purchases, or get a special edition £1 book with it. So even families with lower incomes could use the voucher and get a book for the children..

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This afternoon, daughter was super, super excited when I went to pick her up. She ran all the way to the hall which housed the fair. She did not get the book she wanted, but managed to pick up two other books.

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And here’s the little bookworm, lost in the world of fairies.. And she did not get up from that sofa until she finished reading the whole book 🙂 Two hours after we got back home, she was still engrossed in her books. That, of course, has me,  beaming with happiness 🙂

Just because..

..I am too tired to think of a title, but don’t want a lecture from Ashwathy 😉

There are reasons that I tell you that term breaks are pure torture. Reasons like this…


What’s wrong with this? This is a 3D puzzle. The box warns that it takes 2-3 hours to complete – but when we bought it, I somehow managed to miss it. Or perhaps my subconscious must have dismissed it – 2-3 hours – that has to be an exaggeration, right? Wrong. It takes that long and more. As I discovered to my horror.

Last week, Poohi’s school had a Maths puzzle workshop. We had been to it, and they had a little shop. And this was what we picked up from there. Mainly because Poohi loves puzzles, and she is quite good at them. So I thought(mistakenly), that may be it would be fun to do a 3D one. Maybe it would challenge her a bit. Challenge, it sure did. It just challenged the wrong person – me. I know, I know, I should have known!

This week has been a week of broken promises. We had planned to go out for lunch, just the two of us, but it never happened. Today we had planned for it again but there were some last minute change of plans. So we decided that we would go out in the evening. By the evening Poohi was a little tired, so we decided to stay at home and do something fun. That ‘something fun’ turned out to be that 3D puzzle.

Little fiddly pieces, trying to figure out what needs to be done, over the constant chatter of daughter’s(if you have met her, you would know what I mean), eager little fingers which are sometimes a bit too rough with cardboard pieces, with a million and one questions(does the real Tower bridge have giant batteries that makes it open?).. make a deadly combination.

At the end of the  3+ hours, my back is in pieces, I am ready to demolish the whole thing, if I could, and all I want is, for it to be assembled, and out of the way. I can’t help cursing myself for buying the darn thing, when daughter gives me a sudden hug, and says, ‘Amma, that is magic! It almost looks real ‘.

Can’t ask for more than that, can I? I guess a little ‘magic’ does work wonders to soothe a mother’s aching back and grumpy mood 🙂

PS: I haven’t been blog hopping much, haven’t been responding to comments. Come Monday, I will be on it, I promise 🙂 This week has been crazy!