Celebrate National Storytelling Week

It’s National Storytelling Week! No matter what age you are, there’s nothing quite like listening to a story told aloud. Join the fun and celebrate an ancient tradition by making sure you read aloud to your children this week.

To get you inspired, find three reasons why reading aloud is so important, three tips on making it memorable, and five books ideal for sharing aloud below.

Why reading aloud is so important:

1. To help children make connections between the spoken and printed word. Reading aloud helps bridge the gap between what children hear and what they read, showing them the close relationships between the two – even though the organisation of printed text and spoken language is often very different.

2. Children hear better than they read. Children acquire language primarily through the ear, so reading aloud is vital in helping children to develop stronger vocabularies and new language structures.

3. It’s the perfect one-on-one bonding time – an intimate way to share laughter, adventure, sadness and joy. Being read to encourages a child to use and develop their imagination; they can go from Hogwarts, to Narnia, to the Magic Faraway Tree, all from the comfort of their own beds.

Tips on reading aloud:

1. Get into character. Throw yourself into doing the voices, even if you feel silly! Children will love it, and making sure each character talks differently will really help the story come to life for listeners.

2. Ask questions. Keep children engaged by asking them questions throughout the story. What do they think will happen next? Why do they think a certain character has acted that way? Encourage them to think actively about the story.

3. Make connections. Show them that stories don’t exist in a vacuum, by making connections to real life and your listener’s experiences. So, for example, if you’re reading a book at school, relate it to their own school experiences where you can.

Five stories made for reading aloud

1. The Wonky Donkey

The Wonky Donkey

The story that sparked a viral internet video sensation! A hilarious read-aloud tale to get you braying with laughter, full of silly moments and rib-tickling artwork.

2. Oi Cat

Oi Cat!

Don’t miss this hilarious follow-up to Oi Frog! and Oi Dog! from the award-winning Kes Gray and Jim Field. Shortlisted for the Laugh Out Loud Awards 2018, Oi Cat is a brilliant rhyming read-aloud text, jam-packed with animals and silliness – perfect for children and parents alike.

3. Supertato: Veggies in the Valley of Doom

Supertato: Veggies in the Valley of Doom!

Join jacket-spud superhero Supertato and his veggie friends on an adventure through the deadly Valley of Doom. The latest in the Supertato series from children’s favourite Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, the Valley of Doom will spark kids’ imaginations as they come along on an epic treasure hunt.

4. Spyder

Spyder (C&F)

She might only be tiny, but don’t laugh! Spyder is fully kitted out with super-cool gadgets. Plus, she can climb up walls and crawl under sinks – a really handy skill when you’re a spy. Now a birthday cake is under threat. It’s time for Spyder to wriggle into action! An uplifting tale of following dreams and saving the day.

5. Tiddler

Tiddler NE

Another classic tale from the creators of The Gruffalo. Who better to tell stories about than a little fish who tells a tale or two himself!

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