Why not listen to Mozart’s overture to “The Marriage of Figaro” as you read this page?



(1) Make reading visible by having books at home.
(2) Talk about books.
(3) Share books as often as possible.
(4) Lead by example. Make sure that boys see that reading is something men do. Leave papers, magazines and books around.
(5) Sit and listen to your child read. Turn off the TV, the computer and leave the chores for later.

"I’m convinced that these - stories, storybooks and nursery rhymes - are the foundation of all subsequent language skills." (Philip Pullman)

“I’m convinced that these – stories, storybooks and nursery rhymes – are the foundation of all subsequent language skills.” (Philip Pullman)

(6) Respect their choices – the child is more likely to become a better reader if they are interested in what they are reading. Therefore, comics and special-interest magazines should be allowed.
(7) Introduce children to different types of books – classic fiction, short stories, joke books, poetry and non-fiction.
(8) Read them a book that was a favourite when you were a child.
(9) Read slowly and with expression. Try to use different and funny voices for characters. Sometimes, deliberately misread some words so that they can have the pleasutre of correcting you.
(10) Talk about what is happening and what might happen next.
(11) Leave stories on a cliffhanger.
(12) Limit TV and computer time and supply lots of books.
(13) Enrol children in Wexford Library.
(14) Choose a book which your child will probably enjoy – and then strictly forbid him or her to read it because it isn’t suitable. That will get them really interested!
(15) Buy the first book in a series. This may appeal to your child’s love of collecting.
(16) Encourage children to read during school holidays by suggesting books they will really enjoy. Sport, hobbies, interests and fun should guide our choices.
(Thanks to Will Ryan, 2011)

(with approximate age guidance)

The Jolly Postman (4+)
Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins (0-5)
Owl Babies by Martin Waddell (0-5)
Dig Dig Digging by Margaret Mayo (0-5)
Not Now Bernard by David McKee (4+)
One Snowy Night by Nick Butterworth (0-5)

The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson (0-5)
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell (0-5)
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen (4+)
Hippos Go Beserk (4+)
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (4+)
The Gruffalo by Julis Donaldson & Axel Scheffler (4+)
The Cat in the Hat by Dr Suess (4+)
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney (4+)
The Pig in the Pond by Martin Waddell (4+)
Brundibar by Tony Kushner (4+)
The Cat in the Hat by Dr Suess (5+)
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (5+)
Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl (5-8)
The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffares (6+)
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margary Williams (5-8)
Ramona the Pest by Beverely Cleary (6+)
Into the Forest by Anthony Browne (6+)
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (6+)
The Sheep-Pig by Dick King Smith (5-8)
Mrs Pepperpot Stories by Alf Proysen (5-8)
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren (5-8)
The Hundred Mile An Hour Dog by Jeremy Strong (5-8)
Charlotte’s Web by EB White (8+)
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (+6)
In Deep Dark Wood by Marita Conlon-McKenna (9+)
Benny and Babe by Eoin Colfer (9+)
Harry Potter by JK Rowling (10+)
The Guns of Easter by Gerard Whelan (10+)
Clockwork by Philip Pullman (8-11)
The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips by Michael Morpurgo (8-11)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (10+)
Under the Hawthorn Tree by Marita Conlon Mckenna (10+)
The Moon King by Siobhán Parkinson (10+)
Benny and Omar by Eoin Colfer (10+)
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis (10+)
The Hobbit by JR Tolkien (10+)
The Arrival by Shaun Tan (10+)
The Happy Prince and Other Stories by Oscar Wilde (10+)
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt (10+)
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken (8-11)
Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve (8-11)
Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver (8-11)
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snickert (8-11)
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (11+)
The Phantom Toolbooth by Norton Juster (11+)
Wlidflower Girl by Marita Conlon-McKenna (11+)
The Silver Sword by Ian Seraillier (11+)
Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan (11+)
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (11+)
Once by Morris Gleitzman (11+)
Stormbreaker by Anthony Howowitz (8-11)
Harry and the Wrinklies by Alan Temperley (8-11)
The Giggler Treatment by Roddy Doyle (8-11)
Awful End by Philip Ardagh (8-11)
Cloud Busting by Malorie Blackman (8-11)
The Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman (12+)
The Call of the Wild by Jack London (12+)
Walkabout by James Vance Marshall
Airman (Eoin Colfer)
Angels Without Wings (Mark O’Sullivan)
Annan Water (Kate Thompson)
Four Kids, Three Cats, Two Cows, One Witch Maybe (Siobhán Parkinson)
Into the Grey (Celine Kiernan)
Solace of the Road (Siobhán Dowd)
The Chieftan’s Daughter (Sam McBratney)
The Snow Vulture (Matthew Sweeney)
Wilderness (Roddy Doyle)
A Monster Calls (Patrick Ness)
Life: An Exploded Diagram (Mal Peet)
Millions (Frank Cottrell Boyce)
Skellig (David Almond)
The White Darness (Geraldine McCaughren)
The View from Saturday (EL Konigsburg)
Walk Two Moons (Sharon Creech)
Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech (8-11)
The More the Merrier by Anne Fine (8-11)

(as nominated by pupils in 4th-6th class in Sept 2011)
1=Darren Shan
2=Michael Morpurgo
3=Eoin Colfer
4=Roald Dahl
5=JK Rowling
6=Jacqueline Wilson
7=Louis Sachar
8=Enid Blyton
9=Anthony Horowitz
10=Jeff Kinney

1 The right not to read.
2 The right to skip.
3 The right not to finish a book.
4 The right to read it again.
5 The right to read anything.
6 The right to mistake a book for real life.
7 The right to read anywhere.
8 The right to dip in.
9 The right to read out loud.
10 The right to be quiet.

There are no days more full in childhood than those days that are not lived at all, the days lost in a book. It’s a strange and complete happiness when all sense of time is lost. (John McGahren, Memoirs)

This private, secret space, this hidden empire that opens out between the book and yourself, is precious. In an age when there are more distractions and ways of filling time – or wasting time – than human beings have ever had before, this rich, consoling, inspiring, liberating solitude is more valuable than ever. We must lead our children to it and show them the way.
(Philip Pullman, author)

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