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Why should you read to your child at home? Let me count the ways! Guest Blog by Addy Farmer

Why should you read to your child at home? Let me count the ways! 

It can be fun!

I remember having to read, 'The Wolves in the Walls'  by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, to my five year old, again and again and AGAIN and I'll be honest, the fun had gone after the 10th read but he loved it and I was able to introduce other picture books at bedtime. But of course, reading with your child isn't just for bedtime! Recipes, magazines, joke books, poetry, I-Spy!  

It's a way of forming and reaffirming your bond.

There is something deeply lovely about cosying up with your child to read a story or talk about a story or even make up a story. You can also pass on your reading loves which may be fiction or non-fiction. When you know what's important to your child, you can choose books which you know will be important to them - whether dinosaurs or diggers or dolls.

Top tip: stuck for ideas about where to begin? You cannot go wrong with something FUNNY. Why not try poetry or song? Rhythm and rhyme are a wonderful foundation for making sense of words on a page! 

The read-to child will end up with a bigger brain - fact. 

Well, okay, bigger brain maybe but they will certainly be off to a flying start in terms of academic and social outcomes. If you'd like some well researched and excellent advice on the why-fors and how-tos of reading to children at home, try Booktrust!

Why read at home? There are so many reasons but here's a great one ...

You become an actual inspiration to your child. 

By reading to her, you are saying that reading is worthwhile. She will want to follow in your wise footsteps and read as well. You are doing no less a thing than opening up worlds of imagination and information and inspiration. How amazing is that?

This blog was kindly written for us by Addy Farmer, a children's book author to support of Child-Friendly Leeds, Year of Reading. 

A little about the author...

Addy

Addy is published with three picture books, Siddharth and Rinki (Random House) and two Arts Council commissioned books, A Place Called Home and A Bagful of Stars. She also has a chapter book with Walker, Grandad's Bench and a poetry book with Macmillan. She won a Northern Writers' award in 2015 for her children's work-in-progress, The Empty Girl. A Place called Home and A Bagful of Stars have both been adapted for children's theatre and performed at The Baths Hall in Scunthorpe. She has written for two start-up companies creating story worlds for their products and for Chinese animation. Addy is currently working on a spooky middle-grade novel and various picture book texts.

Addy is a network organiser for the SCBWI, she blogs at Notes from the Slushpile and is a member of the Society of Authors. Her other hats include being Chair of North Lincs Children's Literacy Trust and being a picture book mentor for Manuscriptfeedback.com She is also a Creative Poetry and Story Workshop Leader for outdoor (and indoor) workshops with families and schools. She is currently working with Isle of Axholme and Hatfield Chase Landscape Partnership in developing a creative approach to the local landscape; with ReWild on story workshops outdoors to promote good mental health and getting up to witchy stuff come October with the amazing Grimm and Co. in Rotherham. 

Thank you so much to Addy for taking the time to write the above for us.

If you'd like to find out more about Addy or check out some of her books, you can visit her website page https://addyfarmer.com/  Interested in what Leeds are doing to make this the Year of Reading? You can follow their Twitter or visit their website

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