Hamshahri Interview with Fatemeh Maadani, researcher of children’s books
” A lifetime of friendship with a kind friend”
Author: Baran Khani (Alborz-Hamshahri Newspaper Reporter)
Paying attention the culture of reading in society has many advantages and allows knowledgeable people who can deal rationally with issues to live in society. Addressing the issue of reading because of its importance is one of the topics that receive a lot of attention in advanced societies. The issues that a person experiences by reading a book may take years to experience in normal life. Therefore, we should try as much as possible to have a book-reading community. To have a reading society, this culture must be institutionalized from childhood, and families have a key role to play. Encouraging children to read books and making them interested in reading has its own methods. We spoke with Fatemeh Madani, master of librarianship, researcher and author on children’s books, which you can read below.
▪️How much do parents influence the child’s reading?
The first and most important condition for having children to read is to be in an environment where family members are from the book. Parents should try to read books at different times and do it in front of their children. In this way, it fits the child that the book is a reference from which he can get help. This method actually introduces children to the book indirectly and is the most effective because it is an indirect method.
▪️What is the effect of reading a book for young children?
In order to familiarize children with books, we must read books to them from an early age. First of all, in order to attract the child to the book, one must engage his mind by showing the picture of the book or by asking a question about the book.
▪️Is there a special way for children to read books?
There are special ways for children to read books. It is necessary to read the book to them with excitement and by changing the voice about different characters, and also to ask about the child’s perception of the story and his / her personal opinion about it while reading the book. The pictures of the book must be shown to the child and the parent’s finger must be under the sentences so that the child becomes familiar with its written form. Different questions about the child’s guess as to the continuation of the story or whether he puts himself in the place of the main character will help a lot in the dynamism of the children’s mind and creativity. There should also be special care in choosing the right books for every age. For example, in the case of children under the age of 3 who have no knowledge of the book, methods should be used that only familiarize them with the structure of the book and make them interested in it. In this case, instead of using paper books, use books with hardcover paper or bath and cloth books full of pictures. Use poetry books for children from 3 to 6 years old and prepare special books for each age in the same way.
▪️What methods should be used to encourage children to read books?
After recognizing the right book for children, various measures should be taken to encourage them to read books. One of these measures is to set a specific time at home when the TV and mobile phone are off and family members are reading books together. In this case, if children are not able to read, the parents should read a book to them and if they are old enough to read a book on their own, explain what they have read to each other after reading. It can even be performed for children in the preschool age group after reading the book. Making a booklet with the help of simple tools such as paper and cardboard and illustration and storytelling in it, as a craft can be very effective in their desire for books as well as giving ideas and creativity to children. Another good thing parents should do to encourage their children to read books is to ask them to make a notebook and write a few sentences each day about the contents of the books or magazines they read and learn. Parents need to put in the energy to encourage their children to read books and keep up with them. They should take the time to listen to them about the books they have read.
▪️At what age are friendly gathering suitable for reading books?
Reading books with friends is effective for reading to elementary school children. Children between the ages of 9 and 10, in elementary school, are very influenced by their friends. Therefore, providing the conditions for group reading has a great impact on them, so that they choose a book and read it in groups and in turns. This allows them to learn group reading.
▪️How important is it to give gift books to children?
One of the useful activities is to give books to children on different occasions, which makes them know the book as a gift and know its value. Conversely, because children in many cases like to receive a variety of other gifts. Parents should try to take children to the bookstore once or twice a month and buy them a book or enroll children in the library to get familiar with these cultural spaces.