How to get your children to read books

missing-manuscriptCome summers, and we are looking out for ways and means of keeping our children busy and engaged – summer camps, kids’ workshops and what not! Summer is also a good time to read out stories and inculcate reading habits in children.
It is important to read out to your kids from the time they are young – they will not just learn how to hold the book, and turn pages, but will understand the whole process of book reading, how to read, and how to follow the flow of the story. You can add a bit of drama to your bed time story for retaining the attention of very young kids.
Keep buying books that suit your children’s age, at every age – and lo and behold – their room will turn into this beautiful world of books, and they will eventually get enamored by the world and will turn into book lovers, we promise.
Guide them to discover more books, introduce them to good literature – but ensure it is in a format that appeals to them. More importantly, you have to show them the way by reading yourself.
If possible, get them a library card. You even have a few online libraries, you can try – and if you are like this writer – old fashioned – you try and make them realize the joy of reading a real book – the virtual world is full of e-books – but nothing like the scent of a book and the feel of pages. What more; there is already so much children do with gadgets and electronics, that it won’t hurt if they stick to a real book, and for once away from a screen.
Here are a few recent books that you can try for your kids
Clumsy
Ken Spillman
Tulika Publishers
Rs 150
It is the story of a young girl called Clumsy, who spills, drops, trips over things, careless and so many other things, but was vivid imagination. Her grandmother gives her a box of paints and with a brush she creates images and colours that take her away from people who call her names. The book is beautifully illustrated by talented artist Manjari Chakravarti from Santiniketan.
Bhimrao Ambedkar: The Boy Who Asked Why
Sowmya Rajendran
Tulika Publishers
Rs 160
The illustrated book on the life and times of Babasaheb Ambedkar, who as a child asked why – whenever he faced discrimination, and went to become an extraordinary man who energized the struggle against caste prejudice does more than just tell a story of the great man. It also raises awareness and may inspire the child to ask why, when he sees injustice.

Red Kite Adventure
Leela Gaur Broome
Puffin
Rs 150
Written by Leela Broome, who paints cartoons and weaves imaginary stories that are exciting and filled with surprise, ‘Red Kite Adventure’, is the story of two friends and their gripping escapade. Veer and Arzaan look similar, but are from different lifestyles. When Veer is kidnapped, it is for Arzaan to sacrifice to protect his friend. What happens to the two best friends forms the story.

The Hill School Girls:
The Missing Manuscript
(For Young Adults)
by A.S. Coven
Duckbill
Rs 150
In the new book of the ‘Hill School Girls’ series, the school gets a new principal. And Elizabeth Ebenezer’s best friend too has left, and she does not like the new team mates on her class project. Amidst all this they manage to lose a very important manuscript. It is now left to the four girls – Elizabeth and her new friends to find it.

Time Travelling with a Hamster
Ross Welford
Harpercollins
Rs 299
Story of Al Chaudhury who discovers his late dad’s time machine and how he travels in time machine to 1984 and saves his father. But in order to do all this, he has to indulge in theft, burglary and setting his school on fire, and without losing his pet hamster.

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