Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Live Many Lives through Reading

We brought Lil Pumpkin to the Central Public Library near Bugis over the weekend to read and borrow some books. Did you know they have the largest Fiction collection amongst all the public libraries? Yeah, and they also have a nice children section but it's closed for renovation now until mid-2013. They are turning it into My Tree House, the world's first green library for kids. Kinda excited for this new change!

The current children's books and story-telling sessions are now next to the area near the outdoor garden.

Our public libraries have very interesting programs for the kids to enrich their learning experience and cultivate a love of reading for pleasure and knowledge. These include Raise-a-Reader Workshops for parents to create a supportive reading environment for a child & librarians to share tips on selecting books for them, Story-telling of favourite children books, and Fun with Tots sessions of rhymes, songs and stories for toddlers 1-3 years old. I think most of them are free :)

It really is such a blessing that Lil Pumpkin is growing up in country that strongly supports literacy and books are so easily available. Some of my friends run the local chapter for Room to Read, a global organisation to help fight poverty and illiteracy around the world, and its heartbreaking to learn from them that at this time and age, over 60 million primary school-aged children around the world still do not have access to education and most likely will never learn to read or write.

I love traveling to learn about different cultures and different experiences. I realise that I discover more about myself each time I travel too. Sometimes, I dream about being a nomad... to just wander and explore our big, vast world. It may stay just a dream {for now} but reading books does provide a good "substitute" for traveling and broadening our minds. 

Like one of my favourite quotes says, "For one who reads, there is no limit to the number of lives that may be lived, for fiction, biography, and history offer an inexhaustible number of lives in many parts of the world, in all periods of time." Perhaps that's why I love reading and why I encourage Lil Pumpkin to foster this love too. Lil Pumpkin doesn't just have to be a little Asian girl living with her working parents in Singapore. She can be a little princess in England, a mermaid living under the sea, a dog that talks, a forest fairy, a patchwork elephant... her imagination is the limit. 

If she can dream it, she can be it. I love that magical power that reading brings to her and am glad she is embracing that power! :) You should really listen to the stories she tells us sometimes.. pretty far-out!

Some parents lament that their kids don't really like to read though, especially with iPads, computers and smartphones so accessible now. Such a shame because being able to sit down, relax and enjoy a good read is one of the best luxuries I find. Above are some tips to encourage them to read more, to let them explore with their minds. If you have any other tips, share them with me in the comments :)

I Blog on Tues with Essentially JessDo you like to bring your kids to the library?

P.S. Like Lil Pumpkin's cute Pink Polkadot dress? It comes in a set with a hat and bloomers, and is from Precious Junior, an online kidswear shop. For every item sold, a dollar will be donated to a charity so check it out and support!

* Disclosure: Pink Polkadot Dress set was provided by Precious Junior for blog mention. All other accessories belong to me and all opinions are my own.



Kylie Purtell said...

I absolutely love reading and its something that I have been doing with Punky as much as possible. I used to read and show books to her when she was little, and now that she is a little older we read a book before bed every night and often through the day she'll bring a book to me and we'll read it. She spends a lot of time looking through all her books and I am going to download some interactive books to the iPad so she can continue the book love when she has her iPad time in the morning.

In a few months time, once she is 18 months and old enough, I'm going to start taking her to the story and song time at the local library. I've been looking forward to taking her ever since I heard about it when she was 8 months old!

#teamIBOT was here!

tahlia @ the parenting files said...

I love that quote. We love the library. I love watching my little girl pick books and be excited to take them home x

mail4rosey said...

We do love taking the kids to the library. There's always something for them to find and enjoy regardless of their age.

Stacy said...

Arggh I wish I had a good library near my place too. More for ME at the moment though heh.

Lil pumpkin looks good in everything!

Grace said...

What a gorgeous post! It's so true how our little ones' imaginations have no limit when it comes to books!
I haven't taken my boys to the library in ages, for fear that they'll destroy it, but we buy lots of books. They have their favourites and before bedtime we curl up on their beds and read them.

Mums Take Five said...

Reading is so important. They can learn and enjoy so much more of life when they can read. I am teaching my 4yr old now and he is learning little bits which is good. we read at least one book every night and play lots of letter games and word rhyme games in the car. Great post and i love the quote. via IBOT

Emily @ Have a laugh on me said...

I love escaping into the world of fiction, however as I've grown I adore non fiction because it teaches me more about other cultures. We read to our children every day, just not as much as we want to! Em x p.s great dress

Aroha @ Colours of Sunset said...

The kids section of the library sounds like it's going to be amazing! Hope it opens sooner rather than later! Nick has started school this year and is loving learning to read. He spells and sounds everything out wherever we go now! I should start taking him to the local library, sadly it's a place I never think to go! x Aroha

Unknown said...

My older kids now love to read since starting school. When I take the younger two to the library they love to look at the books as well. They have heaps of books in their toy room too. It's very important for them to be introduced to books at an early age.

Ai Sakura said...

Kylie: Oh such a wonderful tradition you have. We love bedtime story times too. I'm sure Mia will love the story-telling sessions at the libraries!

Tahlia: Yes so nice to see their faces glow when they find a book they like!

mail4rosey: So true.. it's like a good treasure hunt haha

Stacy: haha ya! I wish there was one just walking distance away but at least even a short drive away ain't that bad ;p

Grace: I know what you mean, I've seen how your twinlets bake ;p

Mums Take 5: Ah yes! good idea for word rhyme games!

Emily: I love history books.. so fascinating to learn how we have changed and developed as a society.

Aroha: Local libraries are really such an underutilized resource I reckon. Especially since it's free!

Unknown said...

I have been to this Public Library, and amazed. Lucky Lil Pumpkin, and Ai, thanks for sharing, I did step 1 and 2. I am still juggling to spare my time to read a book with my kids, even before bed :-( The chart is very helpful and definitely will practice at home.

Oliveoylz said...

My gal is a book lover too. We bring her to the library every Saturday and once the lift opens, she would run towards the shelf where her favourite books are. Really love this sight! I like the part you wrote that Pumpkin could be anything she imagined and not just be a little Asian girl...You are so right!

Veronica @ Mixed Gems said...

Lovely post, Ai. I remember reading so much as a child. I just wish I could read as much now. The quote about travelling through reading is so true. I'm very aware of the need to model reading to my girls and give them the chance for their imagination to soar.