Reading was a large part of my life as a child. Whilst my brothers played ball or sat in front of the screen on the super Nintendo (do you remember those?), you could find me in a corner somewhere with my nose deeply buried in a book.
So when I saw the theme for this year’s National Share a Story Month, I just had to write a short blog about it.
In this 4 minute read, I’ll tell you what national share a story month is, why it’s important to get involved. And I’ll share 3 great ways for adults and children alike to enjoy stories and books in 2021!
What is National Share a Story Month?
National Share a Story Month takes place in the UK in May every year. It was founded in 1974 by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups. And its main purpose was to promote the joys of reading for children.
Did you know… recent research by the reading agency shows that 1 in 5 children in the UK can’t read well. National Share a Story Month is working closely with libraries, schools and playgroups to change this.
Because getting kids excited about reading at a young age, can and will improve their reading skills and academic performance later on in life. But the key here is that they enjoy it.
Sticking a dull book in front of a child will never get them excited, it has to be engaging and fun.
Myths, Magic and Mayhem – the theme for 2021
That brings us nicely onto the theme for this year. And this theme is exactly why I couldn’t resist getting my fingers warmed up for a short writing session today.
Myths and Magic was by far my favourite book genre to read as a kid. And it continues to interest me today. I love fantasy stories. Diving into a new and unknown world. Discovering all the incredible and creative things the author so amazingly recorded in the story. Wow!
Stories are powerful and super exciting. But this theme excites me because it’s to my taste. Not everyone is going to love, fantasy, myths and legends. It’s a matter of personal taste and opinion.
So let’s jump into the 3 ways you can get involved and share a story in 2021:
- Help your child find their favourite genre and find books that match it.
Or if you’ve never found your favourite genre, you can also follow these steps to find it. In the age of Netflix and iPads, the easiest way to find your favourite genre for stories is to look at the shows and movies you choose to watch.
Look at your kids recently watched list and see if there’s a running theme. I know that myths and legends still shroud my watchlists.
You can also look at how your child tells stories themselves. What type of imagination they use when playing. Are they always a superhero? Do they love animals and bring them into play? Are they mischievous and always creating mayhem? Let your child channel this energy and imagination into reading books that match their genuine interests.
- Share your favourite kid’s book with your child
The great thing about stories is that they always hold up! We’ve been sharing stories since time began. So your favourite childhood book will still likely interest your kids today.
|My kid’s book recommendation…
One of my favourite childhood books has to be Arthur High King Of Britain by Michael Morpurgo. I’m fascinated by the legend of King Arthur and this book has a unique and interesting take on the incredible story.
If you’re not sure which book to recommend to your child, I’d start with this one! And it fits wonderfully into this years theme – myths and magic!
|One for the adults…
If you are interested in the legend of Arthur too, I’d recommend you read Arthurian Legends by Rosalind Kerven.
I got this book on a visit to Winchester which is thought by some to be the real-life site of Camelot.
This book takes a look at all the mini-stories within the legend and traces them back to their earliest form. The most authentic versions of the story from the actual time of Arthur!
- Get involved in this year’s competitions…
There are 2 competitions your child can enter – one for illustrating and one for writing:
Challenge your child to create their own mythical beast. Let their minds run free and allow their imagination to take over. This one’s for all kids, who doesn’t like creating monsters? But it’s especially good for kids with an artistic side interested and engaged too.
Short Story Competition:
Award-winning authors, Kevin Crossley-Holland, Michelle Harrison and Robin Stevens have written story starters. One for myths, one for magic, and one for mayhem. Let your child pick their favourite starter and finish the short story.
So carry national share a story month into June this year by sharing the joy of reading with children. Maybe even picking a book up yourself. Perhaps you can go back and read your favourite childhood story.
Have fun and enjoy reading!