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International Children’s Book Day: Books that Help Us Slow Down

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How many of us feel hurried and rushed for time as parents? How many of us inadvertently pass this mindset on to our kids?  We hear words like “I’m in a hurry!”, “I don’t have time!” and “Goodbye!” all the time, says Lithuanian author and children’s books illustrator, Kęstutis Kasparavičius.

“But books help us not to rush, books teach us to notice things, and books invite us, or even make us sit down for a while,” he said in his note for this year’s International Childrenʼs Book Day.

International Children’s Book Day highlights children’s literature and encourages the love of reading among children. It is celebrated on April 2nd every year, on the birthday of beloved children’s author Hans Christian Andersen.

This year, Kasparavičius crafted the illustration and message for the day.

“Someone who enjoys reading – be it a child or adult – is much more interesting than someone who doesn’t care for books, who is always racing against the clock, who never has time to sit down, who fails to notice much of what surrounds them,” he said.

How can we get our kids to slow down? Parents are their children’s best educators, and play the most important role in nurturing love for reading and books. If you’d like to create lifelong readers in your children, you might want to consider the following, here are some tips.

Photo Credit: International Board on Books for Young People

5 ways parents can nurture the love of reading

1. It’s never too early to start

Studies have shown the importance of reading in children. Start them early. Language skills could be absorbed,  when you read aloud to your unborn child, especially in the last 10 weeks of your pregnancy.

2. Guide them to a wide variety of children’s books when they can read independently

Reading aloud to older children allows them to explore ideas beyond themselves. Parents could point them to stories about people from different cultural backgrounds. This could help them understand viewpoints other than their own, and help them develop empathy

3. Encourage your children to read for fun

Reading for pleasure has been shown to be linked to significant improvements in vocabulary, spelling, and even Mathematics. In fact, when it comes to children’s intellectual abilities, reading for pleasure has a greater impact than having a parent with post-secondary education.

4. Go on and build that extensive home library

Children that grew up surrounded by books, performed better academically. A recent study has shown that the size of the home library could predict how well a child would do in school.

5. Offer the option of reading e-books, if they are reluctant readers

E-books have been shown to have positive effects on children’s attitudes towards reading, and improve their reading abilities. This is especially true for boys. Furthermore, e-books have also been found to be particularly useful in addressing readers with different reading styles, and special needs

Celebrate with these great books from Me Books Asia

This year, to celebrate the International Children’s Book Day, we asked Me Books Asia, purveyor of quality children’s books and master storytellers, to help us with a list of books that would reflect this year’s theme, “Books help us slow down.” Here are their recommendations.

Even Superheroes Have Bad Days

Even Superheroes Have Bad Days

By Shelley Becker & Eda Kasban

This gem of a book is perfect for children struggling to control their negative emotions. When these superheroes are sad, or mad, they are unable to use their superpowers and wreak destruction. Instead, they work through their emotions in helpful ways. It teaches kids that it is okay to feel sad and mad. But, like their superheroes, they will just have to keep on going, and do their best every day.


I am Life 

I am Life

By Elisabeth Helland Larsen & Marine Schneider

A companion title to an earlier collaboration, “Life and I: A Story About Death,” this story focuses on ‘Life’. It is ever present, and is within all living things. Sensitive and whimsical, parents would love the beautiful depiction of ‘Life’ as it visits different living things – on land, in the air, and under the sea.


The Tale of Peter Rabbit

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

By Beatrix Potter

First published in 1902, this story introduced the well-loved character, Peter Rabbit, with his trademark blue jacket and shoes, and his unrelenting battle of wills against Mr. McGregor. A hundred years later, Peter’s misadventures while trying to escape Mr. McGregor’s garden continue to enchant new readers. It has sold more than 40 million copies since its first publication.


The Day The Crayons Quit

The Day The Crayons Quit 

By Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers

This New York Times bestseller and multi-award winning children’s picture book about a boy named Duncan and his crayons is enjoyed by children and adults alike. This book’s charming illustrations by Oliver Jeffers are a perfect accompaniment to the hilarious complaints from the crayons’ colourful personalities. Children would enjoy the letters, like the one from a tired grey crayon, asking Duncan for a break from colouring in all the huge animals. There are also letters from the yellow and orange crayons, pushing Duncan to settle the age-old argument “What is the colour of the sun?”


The Day The Crayons Came Home

The Day The Crayons Came Home

By Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers

Wall Street Journal’s choice for Best Children’s Book in 2015, this fun sequel is another hit for the author/ illustrator collaboration. This time, Duncan receives another stack of letters from all the crayons he left behind, around the house and while on holiday. Enjoy reading postcards from the likes of Neon Red, as it tries to make its way home to Duncan, and from Esteban the Magnificent, (formerly known as Pea Green), as he tries to leave the nest, and see the world.


The Journey of Stories

The Journey of Stories

By Tee Su Ann & Olaf Lim

Me Books is not only making great children literature accessible through their online bookstore, their immersive and interactive app, curated brick and mortar bookstores and town halls. They are now trying their hand at creating content and growing local talents. This is a beautiful story of a little girl entering a bookstore and rediscovering the magic, wonder and possibilities in stories. It is a gentle reminder that there is more to life, and that “we’re all made of stories.”


ABC Tools Learning Cards

By Cubicto Studio

Children will enjoy learning all the different tools one might find in a repairman’s toolbox. Parents can even reinforce the lessons by showing them how these tools could be used around the house. You just need to make sure that they are handling the tools under close supervision, at all times!


Love the books in the recommended list?

makchic and Me Books Asia are collaborating to give away ALL of the children’s books in the list, worth RM390, to 4 makchic readers.

You could win these amazing books by:

  1. Completing the makchic x Me Books Asia survey form.
  2. Liking makchic, makchic Suri, and Me Books Asia on Facebook, and following @makchic, @makchicsuri, and @mebooks.asia on Instagram.

All submissions must be made before 5pm, on Saturday, 20th April 2019.  We will be announcing the lucky winners on UNESCO’s World Book Day, 23rd April 2019.

Over the past 15 years, Najmin worked as a management consultant, ran a community-supported agriculture (CSA) programme out of an integrated goat farm, and helped manage an equine centre. A biologist by training, this mum of three (5 to 13 years old) now has all her kids in school. She wants to spend more time reading, writing and gardening, and sharing her discovery of fun local places at Mums of Makchic.

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