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How do children become readers?


Happy New Year to all of you! As we enter this new year, the weather continues to be perfect for curling up with a book. We hope that, like us, you too are entering 2023 armed with books. 

December was a wonderful month for us at Champaca. It was also a great time for introspection and taking stock of the year that went by. 2022 was a good year for the Champaca children’s library. We revived the library two years after it was shut during the pandemic. We also filled the shelves with lovely new books and welcomed children with many new events.

There is no greater joy than seeing the store filling up with happy and curious children, listening to stories and picking their next favourite book. We hope to make 2023 merrier, with lots more books, events and storytelling sessions!

Image from Calvin and Hobbes, By Bill Watterson

Is there a particular book that changed your life?

The Russians certainly seem to think that books can change lives and hence must be removed. When Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year, did you know that a key part of Russia’s strategy was to destroy historic libraries in order to eradicate the Ukranians’ sense of identity? At Champaca, we stocked a few picture books on war and conflict this year. We strongly believe that there is no better way to speak to children about the importance of books, and the spiral of bad news/conflict.

How do children become readers?

Many of us struggle to make our children consistent readers. We have noticed that loving to read is a bit like sleeping, it happens slowly and then all at once. However, once they become readers, there is no looking back.

  • Building reading times into an everyday routine: Reading together and reading aloud can be a family activity.
  • Suggesting books to children:  Some children feel overwhelmed and struggle to pick up a book that they like. Sometimes a little help goes a long way.
  • Becoming a role model: We all know that children love to mimic. Once they see you read and hear you talk about books, they will follow suit!
  • Children love the power of choice: Though some may need a little nudge, children also love to choose their own books. Bring them to a store or a library and let them explore and pick what they want to read.
  • Keeping books around and accessible: Including books at home, enrolling in a library and buying books as gifts. 


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