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Can’t read, won’t read

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By Ian Whybrowchildren’s book author

Ian Whybrow, creator of Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs, talks about how practitioners and parents can work together to encourage the enjoyment of books among babies and young children

Mother and child reading

My mum loved books and read to me and my sisters all the time when we were children. We were lucky. Nowadays, millions of children, particularly boys, can’t read or won’t read.

Reading for life

So why does reading matter? It is not just because there is a clear relationship between reading and academic success. Reading matters because writing; forming ideas; developing creative and imaginative skills; clear expression; and understanding how other people think and feel matter.

The ‘problem’ of reading is not an easy one to resolve. Issues include the majority of children having their own television in their bedroom; boys often thinking of reading as a girlie activity; both parents having full-time jobs; lots of parents being embarrassed by the fact that they cannot read aloud very confidently and so on.

Moving forward

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