Playing before reading!


Editor – S K Khurana Keep the child in you alive. Keep smiling and playing, said prime minister Narendra Modi, in a first mass contact programme of its kind, on the occasion of Teachers’ Day. The day also marked successful completion of 100 days in his leadership as the prime minister. He said despite being a “tough task master”, the child in him is still alive. A glimpse of this youthfulness could be seen when he beat a drum and played a flute on his recent visit to Japan. He urged children not to lose their childhood in their pursuit to achieve things. He shared brief anecdotes of his childhood. He asked students to play outdoor everyday and inculcate the habit of reading, particularly biographies of achievers to draw inspiration. “Go beyond ‘Google Guru’,” he said.

Yes, playing is important for a child’s well being. The recently concluded Jumpstart 2014 also featured sessions on the importance of playing. One of the speakers Sophie Benini Pietromarchi encouraged everyone to go ‘play with children’, go on a treasure hunt and collect all the treasures to be able to create magic on a page. “ Yes, that’s the secret of a good children book! The process of creating a children’s book, she said, is not simplification, but going back to the essentials. And as a creator, you have a second chance at ‘being a child’. Another speaker Asha Nehemiah added, “Children don’t need an invitation to play, they simply do, and in the most unusual ways. When children engage playfully and noisily and happily with stories, pictures and words, don’t just encourage them, join them.”

The pattern of education has changed. Why do we send our kids to playschool, before we put them in the main school? Well, books are created as first journey with play schools onwards. Activity learning remains indirect format of playing. While playing, children learn best.

So, all those parents and teachers who want to inculcate good reading habits in children, make reading a fun. Play with your child, make reading a time to bond. With this kind of inspiration and motivation who is going to benefit? Publishers, apart from authors, illustrators, in fact everybody related to the publishing industry!

Happy publishing!

SK Khurana

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