Getting kids hooked on books – payback time (in a nice way)

Mother and Child Treasury, by Shirley Hughes andPeople talk of reading to young children as being a chore, and of parents rather than children falling asleep at bedtime out of sheer exhaustion. Well, there’s no denying that babies and young children are hard work and that sleep becomes the ultimate luxury.

But reading to your kids can be great fun, not just a chore and not just at bed-time. You and your kids can act out the stories (voices are enough – no need for Oscar-winning performances. You are exhausted, after all).

And you might, eventually, get your reward. A couple of months ago, I had a bad cold – one of those short but fierce colds that leave you no option but to take to your bed.

I was lying there feeling miserable, red-nosed and very sorry for myself. Olivia, my teenage daughter, brought me some Lemsip, tucked me up comfortably and stroked my fevered brow. That was nice enough in itself.

But she then produced our old copy of “The Mother & Child Treasury”, an anthology compiled by Shirley Hughes and illustrated by her daughter, Clara Vulliamy, and read me some of the stories I’d read to her as a child. It was lovely – a mother and daughter moment to treasure indeed.

By Marian Dougan

Published by Marian Dougan

Marian is a translator and editor (specialising in web content) currently based in Glasgow, Scotland. Marian previously lived in Italy for over 20 years, working as a language teacher, translator and policy analyst with the British Embassy in Rome. A qualified member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and its Italian-language and ITI Scotnet networks, she is currently Scotnet's Convenor and Deputy Webmaster. From 2003 to 2006 Marian taught translation skills at the Italian Department of Glasgow University and now gives Master Classes as part of the new Masters in Translation Studies course. She also conducts web-writing and usability workshops to help people improve their websites and communicate more effectively with their readers, users and customers. In September 2014 Marian obtained User Experience Certification, with specialisation in Web Design, from the Nielsen Norman Group. She loves language, especially English, and is convinced that learning languages opens up people’s minds and horizons (and increases their brainpower!). To share her enthusiasm, she advises schools and educational authorities on language skills and enterprise. She gives talks to pupils on how to combine language studies with other subjects and so enhance their potential and increase their career options. Marian is an active member of organisations such as: Scottish Council Development and Industry (SCDI); Association of Scottish Businesswomen; Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Scotland. She also loves architecture, design, fashion (British Vogue!), cities and chocolate. She’s a great fan of Twitter and you can also find her on Linkedin.

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1 Comment

  1. That’s amazing. In a sentimental moment a few months ago, I ordered The Shirley Hughes Collection, primarily for “Dogger”, which was my favourite story AND my mum’s.

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