We’ve just had another sleepover with two of the grandkids, which Mr 3 likes to call a ‘drop off’. It’s quite the highlight of their week. Among other things, it will invariably involve:
- lots of jigsaws and puzzles
- choosing & printing out a colouring page featuring unicorns and fairies (for Miss 5)
- pikelets for breakfast
- and lots and lots of story books, some on the couch and more in bed snuggling under the covers all together.
That last bit is probably the favourite bit for all of us. There’s nothing quite as squelchy warm and fuzzy as reading to little kids who are completely mesmerised by the stories and pictures and drawn in so deeply into the world of books. Sometimes it’s so exhilarating and exhausting that the whole lot of us fall asleep in the bed together. Oops.
Apart from the fact that we all love the reading and the snuggles, of course there’s a whole wealth of evidence that the best way to help children with literacy and set them on a path to a lifelong relationship with books and reading is to start reading to them early. Doesn’t really seem like rocket science, does it? As long as we make it fun and they enjoy it – which really isn’t hard at all with the amazing array of beautiful, thoughtful and sometimes very funny books available all around.
And in further good news, there’s also evidence that reading aloud to kids helps with focus and can assist with behaviour and also helps to develop imagination and has all sort of other benefits. Winning all around!
We read all sorts of things with the kids (and the babies too) with lots of new books from new authors, but I also love to read them some of the things I read and loved as a child. I’m looking forward to reading the Tales of Narnia to them soon and I’m tracking down some Ruth Manning-Sanders book at the moment – did anyone read those? Books of fairies, books of dragons, books of mermaids and so much more.
Some of my old books haven’t survived very well and they’re a bit smelly which puts the kids off a bit, so it’s actually lovely to be able to buy some new copies of some of the old favourites.
We’ve recently been looking at Snugglepot and Cuddlepie and introducing the kids to the magical world of Australian bushfolk created by May Gibbs, one of our most beloved authors and illustrators. Even a hundred years after she was creating those beautiful sketches and books, the artwork is just as delightful.
- This giveaway has now closed and the winner announced.
So that’s why I’m really excited to announce I have a lovely giveaway to celebrate books, reading and the very special world of May Gibbs and the Australian bush. The prize is a boxed set of four May Gibbs storybooks from the “Tales of Collection” including: Tales From the Gum Tree, Tales From The Billabong, Tales from the Bush and Tales from the Camp Fire.
That’s $50 of gorgeousness and reading time pleasure sure to make some little people very happy.
If you’d like to win, pop over to my Instagram account and find the details on the giveaway post. Make sure you’re following @BoomingOn and tag a friend you think might also like this Snugglepot and Cuddlepie prize. You can also enter on Facebook – just go to @BoomingOn page and look for the competition post there. This competition is restricted to Australia only. Winner will be selected randomly and contacted directly via DM.
Did you know that when May Gibbs died in 1969 at the age of 92, she left the copyright of all her works jointly to The NSW Society for Crippled Children (now known as Northcott) and the Spastic Centre of NSW (now known as Cerebral Palsy Alliance). That means not only does her work continue to live on through reprints and rethinks, but it also means thousands of disadvantaged kids have been, and continue to be, helped by her generosity and the continuing sales of her works.
The organisations have done a marvellous job keeping her work alive and reinventing it in all sorts of ways. Many of her works feature her own original illustrations and some feature the work of other artists inspired by the originals. There is also an absolutely delightful range of gifts, toys and clothing – from cards to bookmarks, and bookmarks, swaddles to pyjamas, kids’ chef sets to plates and cups and heaps more.
I just love that these lovely stories and beautiful illustrations keep living on and on and keep helping children who need help.
Those interested in history and gardens can also visit ‘Nutcote‘, the 1926 home where May Gibbs lived with her husband ‘J.O.’ in Neutral Bay, which has now been turned into a charming museum. If you have little people in your life and you live or go to Sydney, you can enjoy a story time in the garden (for ages 3 and up) every first Sunday and third Friday of the month at 11.45 am and 1.45pm.
If you want to see more of May Gibbs’ books and the licensed products Northcott now sells, pop over to their website to take a look or you can pick up your own Tales of Collection bookset from Scholastic.