For the love of books

For the love of books

“Mamma, look outside the window. Everyone thinks that is a giant rock in the sea, but she is actually a blue whale, and only I know her secret. Her name is Wanda”


This was my 4.5-year-old letting me in on his hugest discovery during his month long vacation at his grandparents’ house in Mumbai. As I asked him more questions about ‘Wanda,’ I realized that my book-loving toddler was turning into a story-teller himself. 

It was an unusual summer for him. 
Instead of watching cartoons all day as he wanted, his TV time was strictly curtailed to one show a day. The IPAD had not been carried along and my phone has always been off limits for him. While he started out ‘bored’ with no friends or technology, he soon settled into a lovely routine of his own. He coloured, he built lego blocks, he got me to read him book after book even as he stared out into the horizon and started noticing the world outside … dark clouds coming in from the sea meant rain, while a sunny afternoon after the rain could mean a rainbow. Most importantly, he started telling stories.

Technology is a two faced beast. At once, it is a boon as well as the bane of our times. While digital content for children is definitely getting more intelligent and nuanced, it brings with it its own set of problems. There’s enough research out there talking about the disadvantages of too much technology for the very young (even us, actually), and I’m not going to talk about that. But one thing not often spoken about is its impact on imagination. 


When we see something, we often take it as the ultimate truth. There’s no scope to imagine a situation or the way a character looks, because every little detail is already laid out in front of us. We are merely consuming the final product of someone else’s imagination.

I never gave this much thought until this summer, when my son’s forced ‘technology-detox’ opened up another, far more colourful and vibrant world. As the child of a self-confessed bookworm, he has always been surrounded by books and stories. But this summer, he wasn’t just a passive listener. He had his own interpretation of stories. The same story could be retold again and again with different characters. With a different ending. Or even beginning.

While all this sounds easier than done, and not every child would take to reading or telling stories, I do believe it is a habit that needs to be inculcated and nurtured right from the beginning.

So here are my top 3 tips on how to raise an avid reader. 

1. It is never too early to introduce stories to your child. Not flash cards and educational material, but proper stories… fantasies, folklore, fairy tales. You will be amazed but they are often learning the most when they are not consciously being ‘taught.’

2. Nurture their imagination.
We are often quick to correct them when they make a ‘mistake.’ The sky is blue, grass is green, unicorns do not exist, and so on. But think about it… eggs are never green, still, Dr Seuss is still one of the most imaginative and best known children’s authors ever.

3. Include them in your own reading journey.
Children’s books have come a long way in the last few decades. However, this summer A and I revisited a lot of old stories from my childhood (all thanks to my old books having been kept carefully by the grandparents). It was so much fun to revisit some of my childhood favourites through my own child’s eyes.

Coming back to Wanda, the huge whale-rock in the sea outside our window – her story has taken on a life of its own. She now has a brother named Wilson (another rock seen from another beach one evening) and often goes to meet him in the dead of night. Some day they might swim away to the huge open ocean out there … but until then, my son is watching, and chronicling their story.

By: Priyanka Dutt is an entrepreneur, author, television journalist and mother to little A Dutt.

 

 

 

Insta Connect

Yay! We are now available at @kidshquae πŸ“š Do look out for us when you passby. Browse through our titles and pick a story to customise! .
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At @StoryForMeMiddleEast, we offer personalisation for hair and skin tone πŸ‘§πŸΌπŸ§’πŸ»πŸ‘¦πŸ½πŸ‘ΆπŸΌ .
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πŸ“”πŸ““πŸ“’πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ““πŸ“”πŸ“’πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ““πŸ“”#CreateNow #Personalised #ChildrensBooks #HairAndSkin #Customisation #GiftAChildTheJoyOfReading
Have you ever wondered what goes on in a pet shop when the sun goes down? πŸ€” 🐸
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In this lively and engaging story, your child will find out, as they stumble across the animals having an amazing β€˜Pet Shop Party’! Crafted with clay models, counting has never been so much fun. From one playful puppy to ten tumbling turtles, personalise this number counting book for your pet-loving child now. 🐒🐈🐢 🐠.
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Aged: upto 3 years for boys and girls.
Allows personalization for hair and skin toneπŸ‘§πŸΌπŸ§’πŸ»πŸ‘¦πŸ½πŸ‘‰Three easy steps, all you have to do is log on to: www.Storyforme.me
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#CreateNow #Personalised #ChildrensBooks #HairAndSkin #Customisation #GiftAChildTheJoyOfReading
#BehindTheScenes Cont’d:
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Sculpting and modeling with clay has been so much fun! Let’s see what’s happening in this β€˜My Pet Shop Party’ counting book! Looks like all the pets are up to mischief when the sun goes down! 🐒🐠🐈🐱.
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Aged: upto 3 years for boys and girls.
Allows personalization for hair and skin toneπŸ‘§πŸΌπŸ§’πŸ»πŸ‘¦πŸ½ πŸ‘‰Three easy steps, all you have to do is log on to: www.Storyforme.me.
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πŸ“”πŸ““πŸ“’πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ““πŸ“”πŸ“’πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ““πŸ“”#CreateNow #Personalised #ChildrensBooks #HairAndSkin #Customisation #GiftAChildTheJoyOfReading
Little Nora Aziz has made our day! 😍 Her excitement at receiving her very own book makes every effort worth while. #ClientDiaries #BookLovers #LittleReaders #Testimonials
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#Repost @chassieselouane with @get_repost
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We would like to thank @pearlfmuae  for picking Nora Aziza to win @storyformemiddleeast  contest for such an Amazing Book! Parents you must go visit the story for me website and get your kids one of these amazing personalized books πŸ“š www.storyforme.me  #perfectkidsgift #kidsofdubai #pearlfmuae
#BehindTheScenes magic Cont’d: 
As we close in on another week, we take you into our printing press and show you our checklist : πŸ“ .
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βœ… Book match the colour proofs .
βœ… Check the overall color quality of images. .
βœ… Pay special attention to hair and skin tones.
βœ… Check for printing errors such as scratches, spots, lamination any damage.
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βœ… Packaging for delivery.
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βœ… And off they go! .
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πŸ“’πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ“’πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ“’πŸ“•.
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#QualityCare #QualityControl πŸ‘‰Three easy steps, all you have to do is log on to: www.Storyforme.me #CreateNow #Personalised #ChildrensBooks #HairAndSkin #Customisation #GiftAChildTheJoyOfReading
Busy days ahead! It feels awesome to create a community of readers. 
Beautiful books going out in time for our little reader’s birthday. 🎁 Can’t wait for these to be delivered! @StoryForMeMiddleEast #DesertAdventure #TheLostAlphabets .
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πŸ‘‰Three easy steps, all you have to do is log on to: Storyforme.me #CreateNow .
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πŸ“”πŸ““πŸ“’πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ““πŸ“”πŸ“’πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ““πŸ“” #Children #Unique #StoryBooks #Personalised #Customised #HairOptions #SkinColourOptions #Variations #KidsOfInstagram #CreateNow #StoryForMe #MyDubai #GCC #UAE #YouAE #AbuDhabi #Saudi #Ksa #Bahrain #Kuwait #KidsInKuwait #KuwaitKids #KidsInQ8 #Q8Kids #MomsInKuwait #Q8Moms
We are so excited, it’s #CompetitionTime πŸ“’.
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@StoryForMeMiddleEast has teamed up with Sayidaty Mother & Child! πŸŽ‰ All you have to do is take part in the competition and you could be our lucky winner! #GrabYourCopyNow #DontMissIt .
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πŸ“”πŸ““πŸ“’πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ““πŸ“”πŸ“’πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ““πŸ“”
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#Children #Unique #StoryBooks #Personalised #Customised #HairOptions #SkinColourOptions #Variations #KidsOfInstagram #CreateNow #StoryForMe #MyDubai #GCC #UAE #YouAE #AbuDhabi #Saudi #Ksa #Bahrain #Kuwait #KidsInKuwait #KuwaitKids #KidsInQ8 #Q8Kids #MomsInKuwait #Q8Moms
#BehindTheScenes contd.... πŸŽ₯ .
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@StoryForMeMiddleEast boxes getting ready for dispatch. 🎁 
What would we do without these hardworking and awesome people who make our work so much easier everyday!πŸ™ .
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#Children #Unique #StoryBooks #Personalised #Customised #HairOptions #SkinColourOptions #Variations #KidsOfInstagram #CreateNow #StoryForMe #MyDubai #GCC #UAE #YouAE #AbuDhabi #Saudi #Ksa #Bahrain #Kuwait #KidsInKuwait #KuwaitKids #KidsInQ8 #Q8Kids #MomsInKuwait #Q8Moms
🌈 Special delivery for the day! 🎁

Story books for our @pearlfmuae contest winners - Nora and Isa - ready to be dispatched! πŸ‘«

If you would also like to win a beautifully #customised #storybook for your loved one, keep watching this space for more announcements. 🎈 .
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⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️
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#Children #Unique #StoryBooks #Personalised #Customised #HairOptions #SkinColourOptions #Variations #KidsOfInstagram #CreateNow #StoryForMe #MyDubai #GCC #UAE #YouAE #AbuDhabi #Saudi #Ksa #Bahrain #Kuwait #KsaMoms #KsaKids #KidsInKuwait #KuwaitKids #KidsInQ8 #Q8Kids #MomsInKuwait #Q8Moms
#BehindTheScenes cont’d... .
In an attempt to offer a unique story book that comes closer to the child not just by name but also by character.. we decided to offer hair and skin customisations. 🌈After all, the world we live in has different kinds of beautiful children and we have to cater to them all! πŸ™‚
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Thus began our hair and skin combination experiments. Have a look at what a typical combination board in our backend looks like πŸ‘¦πŸ»πŸ‘§πŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸ½πŸ‘§πŸ»πŸ‘¦πŸΎ
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Very soon we will be addding more customisations but before that, we want to know what you would like to see in your book? Suggestions welcome!! ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️
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 #Unique #StoryBooks #Personalised #Customised #HairOptions #SkinColourOptions #Variations #CelebrateTheUniquenessOfEveryChild #Reading #CreateNow #StoryForMe #MyDubai #GCC #UAE #YouAE #AbuDhabi #Saudi #Ksa #Bahrain #Kuwait