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Book Play and Early Literacy

In my first blog (July 2013) I wrote about the importance of babies having a variety of books available to play with and explore so that they can discover the Bookness of Books.

We know that a Treasure Basket (Anita Hughes 2006) is a focussed general learning experience for a baby. Giving babies a variety of books of different sizes, shapes weights and materials piled on the floor or placed in a Treasure Basket not only gives that child the opportunity to play with books but also enhances their early general learning and knowledge of their physical world.


Guest blog as written for ‘The Book Trust’ as part of Children’s Book Week.

I was thrilled to be invited to guest blog for the Booktrust’s Children’s Book Week. So a bit like Susan Hill in her wonderful book Howards End is on the Landing, I went around our home and collected all the picture books I had loved through the years; mine as a child; others we read to our own children; ones I had read to my Reception Class in Kent and now the newer series which I need to read as I embark on my latest career as a picture book author in 2013!


Babies and the Bookness of Books

Guest blog as written for ‘Reading Fictions’.
We know how important it is for babies, even very small ones, to be read to by parents or carers, snuggled safely in their arms but I am passionate about babies also having the opportunity to explore books on their own. Children will learn through their own explorations that books have pages which can be turned backwards and forwards, that they have images which are interesting and colourful and eventually, if books are held in a certain way, that images can look the ‘right’ way up and may even follow in a meaningful sequence. Playing with such fascinating physical objects as books allows children not only to become familiar with the ‘bookness’ of books (my term) but also to learn more about the world about them through their bodies and senses. This playfulness and exploration is part of the natural process involved in fundamental general learning which all normally developing children gain in the first 3 years of their lives and which is the basis for all later skills (Every Child Can Learn by Katrin Stroh, et al, Sage 2008).