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Book Energy on World Book Day

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World Book Day

This special day in the world’s calendar means very different things. What is clear is that the success and meaning of it all depends on the amount of energy put into celebrating it. On every day.

Book Energy is a new name (I just thought of it) for a long-held belief. Children need to hear stories told, hear stories read aloud, be able to experience handling books from an early age and be gently led towards reading for themselves. It’s not rocket science – and it’s not really difficult at all. It just takes energy.

Nearly all of this Book Energy has to come from adults. I have a treasured video of a young father reading to his baby. The baby lies on a blanket listening to her father’s voice. She clearly can’t read for herself. She doesn’t speak any language at this early age. But when her father reads, for maybe the twentieth time, a story that involves a window, the baby turns her head and looks at their own window into their world.

That is our responsibility as adults. To open windows. The child’s responsibilities … well, as far as reading is concerned, they don’t have any until we grown-ups teach them, show them, convince them that books are a good idea. Once they have grasped that concept it is our further responsibility to provide the books – whether nationally, regionally, locally … or in their own homes.

For me, that is what International Book Day is about. Taking the time – and it is more than just a day – to make a reading difference to children, to a child … to a baby.

Just do it.