Kelly Burstow combines her passion for design, art, children’s books, photography, fashion, writing and parenting in her blog, Be A Fun Mum.
Be A Fun Mum is all about reclaiming the joy of parenthood in a fast-paced world. How? Three words: Love the Moment. By loving the little moments, parents can experience snippets of happiness and joy, which in turn, reclaims family life for what it is: a collection of small moments, like pieces of a puzzle, together creating a beautiful masterpiece.
A Book That Impacted My Life
I purchased something on impulse today. It was something I HAD to have. It could have been shoes... but it wasn't. It could have been a handbag... but it wasn't. It even could have been chocolate... but it wasn't. This is what I bought...
Believe it: a stuffed toy. Surely I’m too old for such things! I stopped at a book shop to pick up a present I ordered for my daughter’s birthday. As I was standing at the counter, I spotted a Grug stuffed toy based on the books by Ted Prior. I literally gasped and impulsively put it on the counter as the attendant said, “They only sent us one of those for some reason.” That one belonged to me; I knew it.
GRUG! My first Grug book was Grug in the Playground.
I read it and loved everything about it: the simple story line, the look of the character and the droll humour. Grug made me feel better about myself because he wasn’t perfect and made mistakes. He was clumsy; he bumbled through things and learnt by making mistakes. Grug was just like me.
My Grug book survived every cleanout and I still have my copy today. Why? Why would such a simple story stay with me so very closely? I thought about the question and came up with this: It felt like Grug was written just for me. Grug told me something about myself I had not yet realised. I realised it was okay to “do then learn” rather than the norm through schooling of “learn then do”. I realised it was okay to be me, even if that meant I was not like everyone else.
I now have the entire set of Grug books for my children to enjoy. It’s special for me to watch them read the books.
My children love the Grug books but may not necessarily connect with or learn from them like I did. That’s why I expose my children to a variety of books, not only for the obvious literacy advantages, but because books can make a difference.
Books can make a difference by:
1. conveying a message through long lasting images;
2. explaining big issues in a way a child can understand; and
3. encouraging literacy and imagination.
What if I was never exposed to books as a child? What if I never found Grug? I wonder if I would be a little different today. Perhaps I wouldn’t be so accepting of my mistakes as an opportunity to learn. I’m glad I don’t have to find out.
Read books: they can change your life.
Books I read as a child that had an impact on my life:
• Grug by Ted Prior: It’s okay to make mistakes
• The Big Orange Spot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater: Be yourself even if that is different from everyone else
• The Bible: Gave me hope and taught me how to live
• Noddy by Enid Blyton: Took me to a place of colour and wonder
• Animalia by Graeme Base: Imagination is a wonderful thing
What book has had an impact on you?