Making Your Child Feel Like A Super Hero

23E1576C-4716-4CEF-B6A1-4FB4A78C1815.jpeg

Children’s Books go a long way in enabling your child to believe in oneself. Personalised Story Books makes it one step closer. Here is how…

Two and half year old Adrian hated the idea of pre-school. His mother, Sophie thought it was separation anxiety and did a lot of things she could think of to ease the process. Nothing helped. Several months later, she found out why. Adrian started to weep when he could not make something on his own. The mother tried to comfort him and offered to help. In response, Adrian said inbetween sobs, “My teacher is right. I cannot do anything on my own. I am useless!”

The revelation hit Sophie hard. She wanted to take it up with the school but the teacher had moved. When she turned towards Adrian, she worried about the long term impact of that teacher’s statement on her child.

Over the years, she saw her child give up easily. She saw him throw tantrums when he could not do the simplest of things the first time. She chose story books to help him as he loved stories. Together they read stories of children who were labelled as something but found the confidence within to believe in themselves and not take every comment give at its face value. Adrian improved over time. He loved comics and started to create his own from the scratch. The protagonist in his comics is always someone who finds the way in the most difficult situations.

Personalised Books as a means to boost self esteem

Deep down we like stories where the weak character emerges as the strong one in the end, in spite of all the odds. In Adrian’s case, reading several books that showcased the supposedly weak character emerging strong inspite of the odds, reinforced the fact, that he too could do the same. The happiness he derived in that realisation got reflected in the comics he created.

Personalised books help in taking this concept a little further by enabling the main character of the book to represent the child, in a story specially written to suit the child’s specific interests along with a whole lot of familiar elements. Familiar elements could be in terms of known people, known surroundings, familiar situations etc. Familiarity helps reduce tension and enables the child to enjoy the story even when there are twists and turns, challenges that the main character must face and in the end, the main character representing the child, always finds a way. Rereading the same personalised book over and over again, reinforces the fact that the child is capable of finding solutions even in tough situations. This goes a long way in boosting self esteem and confidence.


If you would like to create a personalised story book featuring your child, in a story fine tuned to his or her specific interests, please visit How to Order?

Alternatively, you may write to me at lakshmi.mitter@yahoo.com.


If you would like to be part of a reading community that discusses about making reading fun  for children, MerryGoBooks has a quickly growing community on Facebook- THE READING JOURNEY. Please feel free to join in and talk about your experiences in this regard, ask for book recommendations, suggestions to get your child interested in reading and so on. Looking forward to seeing you there.

 

 

 

 

Hi

Making Connections Can Help Beginner Readers

35C45317-388B-4CAF-8E24-5B5CB2CFB00C.jpegUnderstanding a story through pictures is hard enough even if someone is telling a story to show what is happening in the pictures. It takes practice and several repeated readings to be able to absorb all that a story book has to offer. When this exercise is coupled with another daunting task- independent reading, books tend to become the least preferred entertainment option.

Making connections with favourite people, stories and things in real life, can make independent reading fun.

Personalised story books make it possible for any child to make more direct connections to incidents in their own lives. The possibility of including their favourite people in the story, doing their favourite things together establishes an instant connection and hence desire to find out what happens in the story. Since there are several familiar elements in the story, the reading activity is a lot less daunting. Familiar elements in illustrations as well as in words used in the story help a child to use Phonetic sounds to read familiar sounding words, most of which they already understand in spoken language. This process gives the confidence boost that every beginner reader needs. Repeated reading of the same books, reinforces the fact in the child’s mind that reading is after all not such a daunting task.

Role Play

Personalised story books can pave the way for role play. Stories that have dialogues are perfect for role play giving room for both parent and child to take turns in reading. Reading therefore is no longer a one sided activity but something that involves both parent and child. The child  observes how the parent reads their dialogue hence shifting the focus from the pictures to text. Once this is achieved the child realises the importance of text in the book and its connection to the story.


If you would like to be part of a reading community that discusses about making reading fun  for children, MerryGoBooks has a quickly growing community on Facebook- THE READING JOURNEY. Please feel free to join in and talk about your experiences in this regard, ask for book recommendations, suggestions to get your child interested in reading and so on. Looking forward to seeing you there.

 

 

 

 

 

Is Reading, An Essential Skill?

7EFFCF4B-0E1F-4BFB-A062-90F4E1E0E4A0

Between the ages of four and nine, your child will have to master some 100 phonics rules, learn to recognize 3,000 words with just a glance, and develop a comfortable reading speed approaching 100 words a minute. He must learn to combine words on the page with a half-dozen squiggles called punctuation into something – a voice or image in his mind that gives back meaning. (Paul Kropp, 1996)

That is a lot to grasp even if you have 5 years. But children manage to achieve it with the right guidance and motivation. However some children find it extremely difficult to master all of it and even begin to resent reading. Reading becomes a chore.

Perhaps if we looked at things differently, a solution might emerge. If we stop seeing reading as an essential skill and look at it more as a means to enjoy a story, an experience, an adventure even, our efforts might be more fruitful. It would take the pressure of reading as you don’t pick up a book in order to learn “how to read” but to enjoy, see what an appealing character is up to and what is likely to happen next. Even better if this is a bonding activity of sorts and you enjoy the same book over and over again.

The magic of reading a book over and over again

Several years ago, my mother and I conducted a public speaking class for a group of children in the age group 8-10. One of the students’ little brother tagged along simply because he was curious what his older brother was up to. He insisted on participating in a reading exercise and came along with his chosen book. He was all of four back then. He read with such fluency that we were amazed. We spoke to the mother and she was puzzled. She said, “But he does not know how to read yet. He has just started learning phonetic sounds.” When we showed her the book he had brought along, she smiled. She said, vividly recollecting a favourite memory of hers, “Ah this book. We have read this book together many times as a bedtime story. He loves this book.”

We kept in touch with them to find out about his progress in learning to read on his own. Turns out that he mastered the skill with a lot of ease. Clearly being able to read a book with which so much love was associated, was a fabulous confidence booster. It helped him to overcome any apprehensions and difficulties associated with independent reading. The love for that story book and listening to his mother read to him introduced him to the world of books as a way to experience love, wonder and happiness all at once. To be able to experience all of that by acquiring a new skill such as reading, must have made him feel good about himself.


If you would like to be part of a reading community that discusses about making reading fun  for children, MerryGoBooks has a quickly growing community on Facebook- THE READING JOURNEY. Please feel free to join in and talk about your experiences in this regard, ask for book recommendations, suggestions to get your child interested in reading and so on. Looking forward to seeing you there.

 

 

 

 

 

Overcoming The “learning to read” Barrier

 

2D028D45-D69D-4849-9627-B18C4A65B41B

Source: Pexels

“Avanthika loved books as a child,” says her mother. “Her face used to light up every time I pulled out her favourite set of books to read. We have read so many books over and over again. But things changed once she started school and the pressure to read on her own increased.”

That statement kept working on my mind and prompted me to look at the “reading” situation from Avanthika’s perspective. Sitting on her  mother’s lap and listening to a wonderful story from a book that has the most beautiful pictures, always took her to a different world altogether. Things changed once school came into the picture. While initially it all seemed like fun, the pressure to perform and read on her own caught on. The very thing that she loved about books was lost.

She was being bombarded with a variety of materials in the form of flash cards, videos, some of which are funny but many bored her. But the worst of it all was someone breathing down her neck, seeing her with keen eyes, waiting for her to read, waiting for her to make a mistake that can be corrected. All of a sudden, books that promised the comfort of a parent’s lap or welcome change of scene in class becomes yet another learning task. It appears that is exactly what happened as one day she told her mother, learning to read on one’s own is no fun at all. There is no story, nothing to look forward to.

Ensuring that reading is a tool to learn more and not a barrier.

The process of learning to read can be quite challenging, frustrating even both for the child and parent. Children at the risk of reading failure are more likely to lose self esteem and motivation to learn unless they have the required support. Without support it is highly likely that reading will be seen more as barrier than a tool that enables learning.

In order to support children with reading difficulties, targeted reading practice using tools such as flash cards, audio and video kits are important. Frequent testing too is required and cannot be avoided much to the dismay of children. However this can be made pleasurable activity by showing children story books that they like. Even better story books with themselves as characters, achieving something important, such as solving a problem or helping someone in need. What this does is to take off the stress in reading by focusing on their self esteem and showing them as a person who is capable of doing something important. The concept can be extended further to show her character in the book as someone who works hard to master reading and immensely benefitting from all that hard work. This could reinforce the fact that with sufficient practice he or she could read well in real life too. After all stories are a means of communication and probably the best way to convey anything to a child.

If you would like to be part of a reading community that discusses about making reading fun  for children, MerryGoBooks has a quickly growing community on Facebook- THE READING JOURNEY. Please feel free to join in and talk about your experiences in this regard, ask for book recommendations, suggestions to get your child interested in reading and so on. Looking forward to seeing you there.

 

 

 

 

Help Your Child To Believe In Oneself.

81E2F7A8-417A-4D23-8553-A157ADB37FB3

Source: Pixabay

Life is beautiful but as you know it is not perfect all the time. We all face problems irrespective of our age. Problems can be intimidating. However it is extremely reassuring when someone pats us on our backs and tells us that “you can solve it” or  “you will get past this.”

Making an example of that, MerryGoBooks focuses on showing children as problem solvers in the story books personalised to their specific likes. The concept followed at MerryGoBooks allows for several levels of personalisation, including the kind of story written for a child that can be based on real life circumstances. The child can be shown as a person who although is intimidated by the problems that come her way, she believes in herself and finds a solution eventually.

How does this help?

It acts as positive reinforcement that a child can do anything, can come up with a good solution to any problem, provided he or she believes that he or she can find a way. Reading about oneself overcoming fear, finding solutions to tough problems and achieving one’s dreams through hardwork, is a great way to make a child feel good about oneself.

Would you like to know more about the concept? Please feel free to write to me at lakshmi.mitter@yahoo.com

 

Ordering a personalised story book is not as simple as picking up a book in a bookstore. Here is why?

Placing an order for a personalised story book is like working with a designer for custom made outfit. Of course it is not as time consuming as the latter perhaps, but the feeling of satisfaction when the final product comes out is tremendous and worth all the effort.
45D8FDAE-4103-437B-B878-72DA7B0F76FC

Picture Courtesy: Pixabay

 

At MerryGoBooks, we strive to personalise a story book with the objective of making the child feel important. In order to achieve that, we need to know every child’s unique interests, their reading level and who they would like to see in the book along with them. That requires a substantial amount of detail. But we are aware that people are busy and cannot be expected to think and write a lot of detail just to place an order. Keeping that in mind we have a really simple order form that you can finish filling in less than 5 mins. Interested? Sure, take a look. Click here Order Form

On the other hand if you feel the need to provide more details and prefer chatting about it, please wait until you receive the preliminary order summary. We can then add details to the basic summary and make the end product even more special. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Any Questions? Write to lakshmi.mitter@yahoo.com.

 

 

Personalised Story Books- Do they matter?

02D698E2-7DA9-4615-BA26-19A547075C53

A variety of personalised story books are being made available today. If anything that is an indication of the fact that the concept is growing in popularity. There are a variety of personalised story books catering to a variety of children. What makes MerryGoBooks any different?

At MerryGoBooks, we strive to create a new story for each child. In other words the entire story is personalised according to a child’s likes and interests. For instance a 3 year old’s Mother wanted to create a book with her child and their dog. The child loves books and loves their dog. MerryGoBooks stepped up to the challenge and created a special story book for the little girl along with her dog. In the story, the dog wants to have fun with her but does not know what to do. The child comes up with ideas so that the dog can have fun. How more perfect can a birthday present be?

The Hero of the story

At MerryGoBooks we are very particular that the main character(s) are hero(es) who play a very important role in the story. They would be the ones taking the main decisions and solving problems. This we believe helps in building self esteem and a feeling of accomplishment. That feeling will motivate children to read the book over and over again, thus making it a very special present.

Specific interests

Every child has very unique interests. A book that is liked by one child need not be liked by another child. Some may like adventure, while some other may like mystery. Keeping that in mind, MerryGoBooks creates a story keeping in mind each child’s specific interests.

Child have very vivid imagination and know exactly what they want when it comes to their characters in personalised story books. Some have wanted to be superheroes, some wanted to princesses, some wanted a magician in the story and so on.

Reading levels

We at MerryGoBooks recognise that children even in the same age group may have different reading levels depending on a whole lot of factors. Thereby the story is written accordingly to ensure that interest is retained.

A special feeling 

Take a step back and try to recollect some occasion where you saw your name printed on something meant for you. Most probably you would have felt special and happy.  The same is true of children too. In the storybooks created by MerryGoBooks,    the name(s) of the child(ren) appear in the story and their character in the story is doing something very important. Even better, the concept leaves room for favourite people like parents, grandparents, friends, cousins, pets etc to appear in the story. Needless to say, the personalised story book specially created for you, becomes a treasure to be saved for eternity.

Note: Since each book is created from the scratch, it takes time. When you place an order please provide at least 2 weeks time. If you are lucky you could get it sooner!