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Do story times have the power to change the course of a day for the better?

(9 Posts)
EmilyFellah Wed 05-Oct-11 09:59:17

When my children were very young, we would sometimes have some really difficult days together (tantrums, bad moods, tiredness- and not just the kids!) but I found that if I sat down and read them a story, it would calm everything down, spark the children's imaginations and remind us all what is important and what is to be celebrated about childhood. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

Laugs Wed 05-Oct-11 10:24:36

Well personally I think story times have the power to change the world! No, really.

But I'm intrigued by the fact that you're a children's book author (as it says in your profile) - are you researching a book at the moment? Tell us about it!

EmilyFellah Wed 05-Oct-11 11:17:33

Yes, I was inspired by the wonderful picture books I read with my kids when they were little, and as I have an artistic background (in fashion) I decided to write and illustrate my own books. I'm working on a picture book to send to publishers at the moment and I'd really like to connect to my potential future readers and would welcome feedback on my ideas. My books look at the difficult relationships between siblings from a humorous perspective, and the fact that you can go anywhere using your imagination.

deaconblue Wed 05-Oct-11 17:39:45

Ds is 5 and prone to melt downs where he gets really distressed. Books are the only thing that unfailingly calm him down and put things back on an even keel. He has a wonderful imagination and huge vocabulary and I'm sure it's down the way I've been using stories to make him feel better since he was a toddler

HippyHippopotamus Wed 05-Oct-11 17:42:10

We all love books in our house and yes, absolutely agree with you about them calming everything down, including the adults!

munstersmum Wed 05-Oct-11 20:23:08

And the best book of all for this when DS was younger was "Just like you". Because it makes clear all families are different & special. One of the messages is that even if mum tells you off it's because it's part of being a loving mum.

Laugs Thu 06-Oct-11 15:22:05

I don't so much think it is the message of the story, it's more the experience of all sitting down together, snuggling up, doing something calm and quiet. Actually, the main criteria for me is probably books that I like. We have hundreds of books, but if I don't like them, then they rarely get read. (Poor children!)

I'd love to hear what your ideas are Emily. I don't really like books that hammer home a message - prefer a good story. My favourite picture books are usually funny, with a strong sense of rhythm and plenty of dialogue (because I like doing different voices/ accents). I also like authors such as Shirley Hughes and Mairi Hedderwick, who aren't funny, but beautifully capture what it is to be a child. I think they're probably in a league of their own though.

Campaspe Thu 06-Oct-11 19:00:59

Yes, I agree very strongly (though I suspect by posting on this particular forum, you will be preaching to the converted anyway).

I think reading aloud to my daughter has been one of hte very best things about parenthood. When she was a colicky baby, and I had PND, sharing books was one of the very few things that both of us enjoyed.

DD is now 4, and goes to school, and we still read together every day. When I uncover a great new children's book, or I see her responding with enthusiasm or insight to something we read, it makes the whole job of motherhood seem much better.

Snuggling up wiht a child to share a story with them is one of life's great pleasures.

EmilyFellah Fri 07-Oct-11 10:34:18

Its been so great to hear about all your experiences and how important story times are to your families. Thanks for showing an interest in my books Laugs, I will sum up some of my ideas below. To see the illustrations that go with them please take a look at my page on I would love some 'likes' for my page, and also feedback about my ideas either on the fb page or on here would be invaluable to me. I'm also on Twitter

With 'Splosh', I've attempted to write a much more interesting version of a seasons and weather book. Blurb:
'A toddler book which takes the reader through the year. See the characters' reactions as they experience every type of weather.'

'My Brother and Me' is for 2-6 year olds and explores the difficult relationship between a little girl and her baby brother with humour. Blurb:
'Lilly is fed up with her little brother, Joe. He seems to get all the attention and can be very annoying. When Lilly's Dad suggests that there must be something good about having a brother, she has to think really hard. After a lot of thought she remembers some of the fun times they’ve shared together. She decides that Joe’s not so bad after all- that is until the end, when his cheeky antics drive her crazy once again!'

I'm currently working on 'Our Really Big Adventure' to send to publishers at the end of the year. It is a surprise book about a brother and sister travelling to the ends of the earth through all types of terrain (taking place entirely in their local park!)
Let me know what you think...

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