Thursday, September 28, 2017

"Reading aloud is really important"

The Five Books site asks Cressida Cowell, herself an author of children's books, to nominate "The Best Magic Books for Children." On her first choice, The Ogre Downstairs, she says: it to all my little siblings and cousins. So I not only enjoyed it myself but I passed it on to them. That power of reading aloud to younger children, making them laugh and seeing them as excited as I was, I think it’s possibly part of why I’m doing what I’m doing now.

I think reading aloud is really important isn’t it? Sharing a story as a family.

Yes, I write all of my books to be read aloud and that’s why they’re all a bit of a performance. I write my books specifically to be read aloud, to be enjoyed by the adults as well. But also as a performance.... It’s all done to make it a performance, so that it is fun to read aloud. ....
I haven't read all five. I know nothing about The Ogre Downstairs (1974) and although I have read Edith Nesbit I haven't read this one: The Five Children and It (1902). Her third choice is The Hobbit (1937):
The Hobbit is such a richly imagined fantasy that, especially as a child, you can live in it. It is so completely immersive. The Hobbit also contains one of my favourite scenes in children’s literature – the riddling match with Gollum.
Her other choices are The Sword in the Stone (1938) by T.H. White and The Wizard of Earthsea (1968) by Ursula K. Le Guin. I thought it notable that none were published after 1974 (over forty years ago) and the earliest barely within the beginning of the 20th century.

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