I have no photos, alas; but yesterday we were at the Glenstantia Library selling books. It sounds funny, selling books right at a place where people can borrow them for free, but we still made sales, even though there were very few people coming in. The point is, it’s near Christmas and it’s different to buy a book for your child or grandchild than to borrow one.
It was, as I mentioned, amazingly quiet. The roads in Pretoria were blocked with traffic; I could have sworn all of the country had arrived to hold weekend here in Pretoria, it was peak hour all the time. This was already the case on Friday; I haven’t yet had the courage to venture onto the roads today and am hoping not to. I don’t know why this is. It can’t only be the load shedding, I can’t see how that would induce everyone to get into their cars and drive (instead of lighting candles and having a restful braai). But of all those driving, only about 20 or so frequented the sale at the Library between 9h and 12h (I understand there had been people at 7h, but not for books, more for the second-hand clothes and knick-knacks that were sold out of car boots).
We were positioned next to the pancakes, which helped (us, and them too). I also had time to touch sides with the librarian, and plan some things for next year. It will be an awesome year!
Glenstantia Library will probably start carrying our ebooks (for lending, yes!). This is a trend I want to encourage. Also, Leslie Noble’s “Immy” series got special attention. Consider this:
The insert is a pixie book (and kids love pixie books – I was one of those who learnt to read out of them).
The DVD is a presentation, NOT a movie but a slide show, so that children can look at the slide and follow the words.
The DVD is also an audio book, so the author reads the story to the children. I don’t know about yours, but my children love being read to, and audio books help them learn to read.
Then, there is even music to the stories: Each character has a theme song (similar to Peter and the Wolf). The theme songs move with the story, in truly symphonic style they mingle and overlay, they get “angry” and “happy”, bringing music closer to children.
So children sit with the pixie book in their hands, touching the book and checking the pages as they look from booklet to screen, following the story as it is read to them. Even when there is nobody to put the DVD into the player for them, they pull out the pixie book and re-read it by themselves, replaying the music in their heads…
Does it sound archaic to you? These are actually, from a learning point of view, the very latest insights in how to make reading easy and enjoyable for preschoolers, how to introduce them to music, and to the feel of books.
Tomorrow night, due to music commitments, I may be late for the P’kaboo Book Club. But please, there are enough authors and readers, please do start without me, it is your group too! I’ll be joining you later.