At the chalkface: Read to your child!

I don’t care what class you belong to, you can always tell a baby a bedtime story. Children never forget them. Not to do so is a crime. To shut the door on a baby without a tale is unforgivable.

The Obamas’ recent reading of Where The Wild Things Are to little children was charming and fun (
Grr! Grr! Roar! Roar! Can’t we have him for three terms?

Few things are more important than telling stories to children. It’s good for the nation. The illiteracy rate in the US is about 29 per cent and it’s not much better here – too many children are functionally illiterate.

Let’s take two, Sally and Susan. As babies they were clean slates and curious about everything.

By the time they go to Reception class, there’s a colossal difference in ability. Sally can do it. Susan cannot. And if she can’t do it by three, she’s never going to do it. Some optimists give her until seven. Whatever, if she can’t read by the time she goes to big school, she’s finished. It’s over. For life.

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