Saturday we visited our fav bookshop and then went to the local bit of ‘wild bush’ up the road from our house, so that the munchkins could work on and decorate the treehouse they discovered the other day when we visited (other local kids did all the initial hard work!). The treehouse they’ve been building was inspired, probably obviously, by the Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton ‘Treehouse’ series, which has rather taken the world of young readers by storm. PudStar was lucky enough to see both of them speak at the StoryArts Festival last year and visit the art exhibition based on the series and she’s been rather enamoured with all things treehouse related since. At the bookshop, she had picked up the sixth Treehouse book and had grand plans to read it in the local stick and flower treehouse – but rain got the better of her! Ha!
I love bringing books to life in for young people – it adds another dimension to reading and to the world of story. Building treehouses having been inspired by a popular series is just one example of books coming to life in the imaginative play and real lives of our young people. My five other favourite ways to bring books to life are below. And those dresses PudStar (8) and ChickPea (5) are wearing? Well they were really for the bookshop visit, not the treehouse play, but I’m a big fan of clothes for all adventures and there is no harm in climbing a tree in your Sunday best in my opinion. They are from AlexandAlexa, which is oft hailed as the ‘Net-a-Porter for under 14 year olds’, AlexandAlexa offer kids’ clothes from a huge spectrum of designers for children aged up to 16 years, wherever you are in the world. The dresses were gifted, but this post is not sponsored and, ummm, I have found another fav online store. Click and ‘add to basket’.
Five Ways to Bring Books to Life
- Create a meal or party around a book: pretty much every birthday party my children have ever had has been inspired by a book, we’ve had Belle and Boo afternoon teas, made sushi after reading about Japan and set the dinner table just like they do in Charlie and Lola – with pink milk of course. Food, cooking and parties based around books are the best fun and having children help with reading recipes and writing lists adds another literacy element to a book reading experience.
- Providing book based props, or no props at all for imaginative play: a few wildflowers, tree branches and lots of twigs and we have the Treehouse books in action in our local bit of bush! Likewise, plastic dinosaurs in a pot become a world of dinosaurs in which to react favourite dinosaur books and a few fairy props mean years of imaginative play inspired by loved fairy books.
- Bookshop visits: we have a number of favourite bookshops and we utterly trust the bookish opinions of the staff in them. Recently, the girls saved up all their ‘holiday jobs’ money to go on a book shopping day and breakfast at Avid Reader Bookshop, and we regularly attend author signings and events at local bookstores. Many bookstores now also host book clubs for young people and writing or reading workshops.
- Join your local library: shower your local library with love! Make a big deal out of signing up for your child’s very first library card (unless you are like me and did that when they were a newborn #librarynerd. Visit and borrow from your local library regularly and get to know your school’s teacher librarian.
- Author visit and events: there is nothing more exciting then meeting favourite authors in real life. I bring as many authors to my school library as possible as it is simply the best way I know to bring books to life for young readers. Keep an eye on literary events in your local area: bookshops; art galleries; libraries and parks all host authors for signings, workshops or parties to celebrate book launches.
How do you bring books to life?
Do you let your kids climb trees in exquisite dresses?The titles of each book takes you to the Australian based online bookstore Booktopia. You can also compare prices on Fishpond and Bookworld for Australian purchases.If you live in the US or would prefer to use Amazon click here. If you live in the UK or would prefer to use Book Depository click here. Purchases clicked through from the Children’s Books Daily site result in a small commission. Commission is used in part to maintain Children’s Books Daily and to support community groups which connect children with books.