Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Book diary

How many books of your childhood can you remember? I only remember a handful of them although I must have read hundreds! The Reading Environment by Aidan Chambers suggests the great idea of making a reading journal starting in the early childhood. Before the child can write, parents and carers can write entries for them, simply stating the title and author of the book. You can also add one of the child's interesting comments about it, a short summary or even grade it out of 10. Not only does a book diary help keep track of reading, but it also shows a bit of who you are to others. Aidan Chambers suggests that all school children should have a book diary that new teachers could read at the start of a new year to get a snapshot of that child's personality. The books you choose to read reveal who you are.

I followed his suggestion and gave Alex a book diary. He was over the moon with the excitement of having a book just for him, one with an elastic band to keep it closed and a ribbon as a bookmark! We went through the library books we had already read and started adding entries. He was very proud to show it to everyone at school. He is eager to be able to write it it himself but for now he would still like me to do it because he doesn't want the pages to get messy.

Recording authors is a good way to raise children's awareness that a book is written by a person and doesn't just come out of nowhere. As I was reading all the entries to Alex a few weeks ago, we both noticed that several of the books were written by the same person. We wouldn't even have noticed without the book diary.

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