Monday, January 23, 2012

Why I Love Children's Literature - Guest Post

Sue Stirling started working in a Child Care Centre in her late teens. She was privileged to have an amazing mentor who made it her mission to teach her about children, their development, and play, and how to engage children in authentic experiences. At her insistence, (which Sue will always be grateful for), Sue trained as a Child Care Worker. This led her to work in Princess Margaret Hospital for Children (Perth) as a Play Assistant. She enjoyed providing fun and engaging experiences for children during their stay in hospital. What continues to amaze her is children’s resilience and ability to overcome difficulties. From there Sue went to work in a variety of day care centres caring for children from 0-5 years old. Sue had the opportunity, when her boys were young, to write articles for the publication, Infant Times. She trained as a Teacher’s Assistant and worked with Kindergarten and Preprimary children. After being some years in this role, she enrolled in a K-3 Teaching Degree and finished in July 2011.

Why I Love Children's Literature
by Sue Stirling

For as long as I can remember, I have loved children's books and being with children! This quote by Roald Dahl embodies how I feel:

So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install,
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.

I would have to say that I believe almost everything can be cured by a warm lap and a good book! I can remember sitting on a cold winter evening on my mother’s lap, beside a warm crackling open fire, being absorbed in tales of Narnia by C.S.Lewis and the adventures of four children who were able to travel to other lands through wardrobes and train stations. I remember laughing until my stomach ached as my mother read Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren. I loved the fact that Pippi lived in a house on her own with her own horse, and really did anything she liked. She even had to tell herself when it was time to go to bed!

Over the years, there have been many days where I sat with my boys as we read about knights in amour, held our breath as the story reached its climax and sighed with relief as the hero once again was victorious. I remember days where we would read books that made us laugh until we cried. As the years unfolded I have had the opportunity to read to hundreds of children. Sometimes I pause and look at their faces, their bodies so still, their faces filled with wonder. I think to myself, where are they? What can they see? What are they imagining? All the troubles of their day are swept aside as they enter a world of wonder - the world of children's literature.

Catch up with Sue on her new blog, Teachers Quiver Full, where you'll find out more about her passion for children's literature, and learn great tips for literacy, learning and literature activities.

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