- June 11, 2021
It’s not every day that a child recommends a book to you. So you can imagine how ‘wowed’ I was when my 12-year-old niece did this.
“I’d suggest you read Cricket and the Crackerbox Kid,” she said. “You will love it, and then maybe you will understand why I am grunting.”
See, we were having a harmless ‘altercation’, if you will. She had been making these little grunts, and I was now confronting her. I love drawing the battle line for her, then relaxing and watching her as she goes to war. When she brought in the book, my head tipped back in surprise. I just didn’t expect a kid to tell me about a book. I found this beautiful. Since then, it was indelibly chiselled into my heart that books imbue with the teachings of consciousness. I became the uncle who suggests children’s books.
We must cultivate a reading culture among our children
We are living in an age where adults, and children alike, would rather scroll an avalanche of social media posts or binge-watch movies than soak up the contents of a book. This continuous humming about us giving reading a wide berth is a tired phrase, I know. But it is one of those things that we, the literary custodians who understand the power of reading, will continue harping on about.
By now you must be wondering why I am waxing lyrical about reading. Well, 16th June is the International Day of the African Child and Storymoja will be attempting to break a world record for reading.
The national read aloud day
There will be a National Read Aloud which Storymoja is anticipating to be the largest gathering of Kenyan children reading aloud from the same book, and at the same time, in multiple locations. The reading exercise will run from 8:30 am-9 am on the chosen day. Anyone can visit a primary school on the day and join in as a reading ambassador.
The book that will be read aloud is titled “Attack of the Shidas”.
Authored by Muthoni Muchemi, it addresses a theme that pushes for conversations about peace and national cohesion among children. It was commissioned by Kenya Human Rights Commission.
The book is about children from different communities in Kenya who realize that the only way to save their community, which is being threatened by a disastrous water shortage, is by overcoming their differences.
Storymoja is a creative Kenyan/African publishing company with a wide variety of authentic African children storybooks. They also publish curriculum books, career resources, revision books, and exciting local content.
Also read: Muthoni Garland on the Power of Books
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