Wednesday February 27, 2013
Making reading fun
KEN Spillman (pic) knows all about kids. He frequently gets in their heads and comes up with the most imaginative and creative results.
His name may not ring a bell. However, your children may be familiar with his work. He is the author of the Jake series (Jake’s Concert Horror, Jake’s Great Game, Jake’s Balloon Blast, Jake’s Monster Mess and Jake’s Gigantic List), The Absolutely True Fantasies Of Daydreamer Dev, Radhika Takes The Plunge, Advaita The Writer and Love Is A UFO, among others.
Spillman has written about 30 books, including acclaimed children’s fiction and young adult novels.
Fun is the ingredient to success for the Australian author. He believes that children should have fun reading his books.
“When a teenager reads a book about a young person dealing with a crisis of some kind, they don’t want to be taught a lesson – they just want to engage with the story and draw their own conclusions about the consequences of certain actions and attitudes. It’s the same with younger children, and that’s why fun comes first for me. Let the story be told – every child will take from it something slightly different,” he says.
Writing children’s books allows him to use his imagination, do anything and go anywhere. What could be cooler than that, he asks.
“There’s another aspect to it, too. I am privileged to be able to visit schools and speak to kids about things that matter – the importance of reading, its relationship to life competency and quality of life, the power of imagination and the role it plays in building resilience, solving problems, and so on,” says Spillman.
In the past three years, he has spoken to around 70,000 kids in many countries – an opportunity he would not have had had he not been a children’s writer.
He also interacts with children online through his website, e-mail and Facebook.
Spillman talks to ParenThots about books, teaching kids creativity, getting kids to read, and a wide world of books.
Focus on the Family
Death is part of life, and it’s important for children to understand this. Focus on the Family encourages parents to be open and honest with their kids about a death in the family. Look for teachable moments and opportunities to talk frankly, not only about what’s happened, but also about their feelings about it.
Get more tips on ParenThots.
Readers write in
Two parents share their views on how they use their imagination when playing games. Another parent writes about giving kids time to play and not planning too many activities and classes for them.
Win Disney School Skills books
Do you have a toddler or preschooler? If so, then you’ll want to win the in-demand set of Disney School Skills workbooks.
Scholastic and ParenThots are giving away one set of five Disney School Skills books each month from now until August.
The five books are Hands-On Coloring, Hands-On Cutting, Hands-On Folding, Let’s Learn Early Math Skills and Let’s Learn Early Reading Skills.
Each month, one lucky parent will win all five of these Disney School Skills books.
To find out more, go to ParenThots.