Letterpress Project Book stall
Reading is an essential skill for children’s development – and of course one of the fundamental components of schooling – but it is also crucial for parents and carers to encourage it from a young age – and not just in order to hit those SATs targets.
Not only does reading help children develop their vocabulary and comprehension skills, but it also sparks their imagination and creativity. There’s strong and consistent evidence that reading for pleasure is a strong predictor of health and happiness throughout life, and that children who are read to, or who are read with are more likely to become readers themselves.
Reading together with children is a great way to build a strong bond between carer and child. As parents and children read together, they are sharing a special experience that can help to strengthen their relationship – and the best children’s books contain plenty of fun and wisdom for adults as well. Reading to children is an incredibly rewarding experience that has numerous benefits for children and their carers – I think I can still do ‘Each Peach Pear Plum’ from memory from when my own children were young, and I think that it was having ‘The Hobbit’ read to me as a child which made me into the comfort-loving adventurer I am today.
Children’s books are often dismissed as trivial or insignificant in the grand scheme of literature. But such dismissive attitudes fail to recognize the immense joy and importance that children’s books can bring to young readers. They have the power to spark imagination, ignite curiosity, and foster a love of reading that can last a lifetime. They introduce children to new worlds, new ideas, and new ways of thinking, and they can help young readers navigate the complexities of the world around them.
Moreover, children’s books can serve as mirrors that reflect the diverse experiences and identities of young readers. When children see themselves represented in the pages of a book, it can help them feel seen, heard, and valued. And when children encounter characters who are different from themselves, it can help them develop empathy and understanding for others.
But perhaps the most compelling argument for the joy of children’s books is simply the delight that they bring to young readers. The pleasure of losing oneself in a good story, of discovering new characters and worlds, of laughing and crying and feeling deeply moved—all of these experiences are available to children through the pages of a book.
Making time to read forces us to slow down, and to engage our whole minds in making sense of the text we see before us – a rare and valuable activity in the age of monetised attention. The difference between the slow, rich pleasures of reading and the immediate gratifications of a video game or, God forfend, an hour scrolling through tiktok, is the difference between cooking and eating a roast dinner and chowing down on a bucket of haribo.
We in Working with Children, Young People and Families are excited to announce the return of the Letterpress Project Book stall to our university campus on the 14th of March. The book stall will feature a wide variety of children’s books, including picture books, chapter books, and non-fiction books, at very reasonable prices. This is an excellent opportunity for parents, teachers, and students to purchase books for their children, classrooms, or libraries.
The book stall will be held on the 14th of March in the Atrium opposite Starbucks. We encourage everyone to come and browse the selection of books and take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to promote reading and literacy among children – so come along on the 14th and see what magical surprises are waiting for you at the Letterpress Project book stall.
Payments are only in cash, so please dig out those shiny metal discs from the back of the sofa. If you don’t have cash on the day, you can leave your contact details and bring payment in later. All the proceeds go to funding the Letterpress Project – which is a West Midlands charity promoting reading for children through its resources and workshops in schools and libraries. Read more about their work.
-Written by Dan Whisker, Senior Lecturer in Working with Children, Young People and Families (WWCYPF) –