My grand daughter Sophia was down for a few days recently and I took the time to visit her. On one of my visits, I told her the story of The Three Little Pigs. It was a hit - she loved it so much and wanted the story again and again. Every time I reach the part where the wolf knocked on the door of the pigs' house, and they answered," No, No! No! I will not open the door! Not on my chimney chin chin!" she'd laugh aloud, so tickled is she at the rhythm of the words. I remember her own father loving this well-loved tale as well as Three Billy Goats Gruff and The Three Bears. All these stories have lines which are repeated and all kids, not least my own children love repetition, especially those which have a rhythm as well.
Those quiet hours spent reading or telling them stories have enriched them and made them who they are today. All four of them are lovers of books. Both Shasha and Rizal have grown up to be creative in their own right - writing poems and short stories. I believe that their early beginnings of being read to have shaped them to be readers too. As a teacher of English, I wish more parents would take the time to read to their children. Besides the obvious effect of nurturing the child, it also inculcates in them a love for the written word. When I was young, books were not easy to get - my parents never had enough money for these extras. But my grandmother used to tell us great stories, many of which I now realise came from the old Indian folktales. When I was old enough to join the public library my dad took me to the library for the first time. I remember my surprise and pleasure at being surrounded by rows and rows of books - and you don't even have to buy them! I thought I had gone to heaven!