Posted on February 14 2019
Giving a child a book is a great way of sparking their imagination, fuelling their curiosity and supporting their learning.
Instead of reaching for the cards, flowers and chocolates today, why not give the ones you love something interesting to read instead? You might think February 14 is all about Valentine’s Day but today is also International Book Giving Day.
The idea behind the day is to encourage literacy and give as many children as possible their own book to read and enjoy. According to figures from the National Literacy Trust, one in eight disadvantaged children living in Britain don’t have a single book which they can call their own.
You can support the initiative by donating books to local school, nursery or charity or even just leaving a book for a child to discover with a message explaining it is a gift. And it is also a wonderful opportunity to give books to children in your family and social circle too.
When it comes to choosing the right book to give as a gift, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are our suggestions for picking the perfect present for a budding young reader.
If you want to give a truly unique gift, you might want to consider buying a personalised book which features the child you are giving it to. There are lots of choices available on the market, ranging from story books to ones where the child has to hunt for themselves in the pictures. The Little Boy (or Girl) Who Lost Their Name was last year’s biggest selling picture book in the UK and the magical story involves the character going on an adventure to find the letters which will eventually form their name. If you know a child who loves PeppaPig, Penwizard sells personalised books which include them not only in the story but in the pictures as well. Choices include The Biggest Muddy Puddle Book and Peppa and George’s Big Adventure and they also sell personalised books featuring other popular characters from children’s television.
If there was a particular story you loved when you were young, why not share it with the younger generation? Giving a copy of a much-loved classic allows you to relive your childhood by rediscovering the illustrations, characters and plot. It is also a lovely way to open up a conversation about books with a child. The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr has been delighting children for more than 50 years. How will Sophie and her mum cope with an unexpected visit from a greedy tiger who eats them out of house and home? Another favourite when it comes to bedtime stories is Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown. It may have first been published in 1964, but youngsters today will be just as amused and intrigued how Stanley Lambchop makes the most of it when he is accidentally flattened by a falling noticeboard.
If you’re finding it hard to narrow your choice down to a single story, you might want to consider giving an anthology or treasury of children’s stories or poems instead. The Quentin Blake Treasury is packed with weird and wonderful characters and imaginative adventures, all of course accompanied by Quentin Blake’s famous illustrations. Alternatively, you could really keep your options open by going for a collection of rhymes, poems and stories from different authors like The Puffin Baby and Toddler Treasury, which features a wide range of well-known tales including Eric Hill’s Spot and The Snowman by Raymond Briggs.
This may sound obvious but if you know the child you are buying for is particularly interested in a certain subject then buying a book about it is a great way of encouraging a love of reading from an early age. Whether they love mermaids or mice, dinosaurs or diggers, you can bet there are plenty of children’s books available featuring the things they like. Trains are a popular interest among youngsters and you can’t go wrong with the Thomas the Tank Engine series of books. Alternatively, if they prefer their stories to be about princesses, Ten Little Princesses by Mike Brownlow is a colourful and fun picture book to get little ones interested in counting. For really young children, the Usborne That’s Not My… series features almost every creature or vehicle you can think of so at least one of the touchy-feely board books is bound to capture their imagination.
For more ideas visit https://bookgivingday.com