Children’s Books Ireland and An Post yesterday welcomed families to the Storytime Express in Heuston Station. On-board the historic RPSI train, there was storytelling with Oisín McGann and E. R. Murray, illustration workshops with Peter Donnelly and Niamh Sharkey, Children’s Books Ireland Book Clinics, face-painting and a magician. The event also marked the launch of the newly designed Bedtime Books Reading Guide, encouraging children and their families to discover a brilliant book at bedtime.
The task of gathering a collection of bedtime books for children aged 0–10 was a mammoth one. The bedtime story, whether read aloud or told from memory, is such a special moment in a family. In picturebooks, bedtime stories abound – adults will recognise familiar themes as monkeys, bears and babies fight for a few more minutes’ play, and night-time anxieties stand in the way of sleep. There are a few upbeat, silly books to get the end-of-day giggles out, and some calm, quiet books to read just before little heads hit the pillow. As book-lovers, we have included some bookish books about reading to encourage young readers on their journey.
International studies show that reading aloud to a child for just fifteen minutes a day has a positive impact on their intelligence, school work, empathy and social skills. Research also shows that a love of reading for pleasure is more important to a child’s future than socioeconomic background. As well as the joy of cuddling up for a bedtime story, spending this time on reading can be the greatest enabler of a child’s future success. In Ireland, over half of three-year-olds are read to every day. At age five, this figure rises to two-thirds. At age nine, 31% read for fun every day, with a further 41% reading a few times a week; only 6% say they never read for fun.
#ReadersWanted is An Post’s national campaign which celebrates the value and joy of reading and encourages everyone to pick up more books, more often. Books lead us into new worlds and possibilities and challenges and change how people think about the world and about each other. This campaign reminds us of the warmth and wonder of reading with our loved ones.
Join the campaign on Twitter (@Postvox), Instagram (@anpostofficial) and Facebook (@AnPost). #ReadersWanted celebrates the values of reading. Let us know what you think, before you nod off – find Children’s Books Ireland on Twitter (@kidsbooksirel), Instagram (@kidsbooksirel) and Facebook (@ChildrensBooksIreland), and visit the reviews section of our website for many more reviews or download our free annual Recommended Reads guide.