Once Upon a Time We Told Our Children Stories
The Times (London, UK)
March 3, 2005
Michael Morpurgo, the Childrenís Laureate of the UK, writes:
Today, World Book Day, hundreds of my fellow writers, and storytellers, illustrators, librarians, teachers and booksellers, are doing just what Iíve been doing. Indeed, they do it all the year round: this is not a one-day wonder. This kind of sustained effort to bring children to books and books to children is much needed and is, in my view, the most effective way of persuading children to become readers and writers.
It is effective because it is personal and because the children know it is meant. Here is someone in front of them who loves stories, who tells them with such passion that the world of reading, the sheer joy, fun and wonder of it, can be opened up to children who may never have enjoyed books at all. A young life can be changed that way, enriched for ever.
When you think of the extraordinary talent among our childrenís writers, storytellers and illustrators, it is not surprising that so many children turn to books and become readers after just such an encounter.
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