An Intensely Valuable–and Ongoing–Experience

Margaret chooses and shares children’s literature which always engages our young listeners. We believe Margaret’s reading sessions have enhanced literary appreciation of our children and increased their desire to read and understanding of the process. (Karen, Director, Glory Garden Out of School Care)

Martin the Cobbler

Why did I start?

* I love reading stories to children.
* I felt a need to develop an ear for children’s stories, and reading aloud is more “real” to me when I have an audience.
* I wanted to see where the children’s attention peaked and flagged.
* I wanted to see where I found the text boring or tedious.
* I wanted to try out my own stories on a group of children.

Reading to the kindergarten children has provided feedback in all the above ways, and there was another one as well. I have different children pick three stories from the four I bring each week–and it’s illuminating to watch them judge the books by their covers. Here are some of my findings:

Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover? Seriously?
Cover Stories–and What’s Inside

However, judging from Karen’s kind comment, it isn’t just a one way street.

There was an unexpected benefit at Christmas. Tommy and I acted out a much abridged and highly edited version of Leo Tolstoy’s Martin the Cobbler for the older children. I played Martin, and Tommy played the other roles: a little boy without shoes, a big brother who wrapped his baby sister in his own coat because she had no blanket, and an old man hungry for a crust of bread.

Props like Tina’s doll, a blanket, and a loaf of whole grain bread added to the drama.

The children clearly got the message, as demonstrated by the discussion that followed. The young child care worker drew out not only the meaning of the story, but how the children could apply it to their lives.

To learn about other stories that have been a hit with the children, please check out Margaret’s Top Picks on my website, where my nine-year-old granddaughter also weighs in on what makes a really good story.

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Categories: Journey | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “An Intensely Valuable–and Ongoing–Experience

  1. There is such a thing as narrative poetry in the modern era. I write it as in my new book A New Orchid Myth, a sci-fi story. It is a bit difficult being indirect, but it is possible. I can’t say I’ve sold many because I can’t go around and interact with audiences because of a health problem. But I say if that’s in your mentality, then write it out. Children are quite appreciative.

  2. Pingback: 14 Tips–Choosing and Sharing Books with Young Children | Margaret Welwood on Writing Children's Books

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