'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Guest Post: Jasmine Berry of Read to My Child

KBR warmly welcomes Jasmine Berry, the brains behind a fabulous new literacy initiative - Read to My Child.

One of my most treasured childhood memories is of my family and I sitting on our couch, which cosily fitted all five of us, with the fire crackling and the rain pouring down outside, hot chocolate’s in hand, and everyone immersed in their own good book.

The evening would be peppered with the occasional comment or question, but otherwise spent in companionable silence. This was common for us as a family, as we grew up on a fairly isolated farm. I think our parents knew the necessity of instilling in us a love of books as a way of keeping us entertained (and out of their hair!) during the long winter months.

So it is unsurprising that I have wanted to pass on a love of books to my own children. At two and four years of age, they adore picture books. And I adore reading books to them; especially the first one... then the second... then the third... By the time the tenth books comes around, I’m either starting to lose my voice or mentally tallying in my head the number of household chores I need to get done, and alas, my children can always tell when I’m not fully focused!

This is why I created a website called www.readtomychild.com.au. I had been searching for websites where stories were recited for children, but could essentially only find stories that were animated (much like TV), very poorly recorded, or even worse, piled with ads at beginning and end.

So it fell upon me to create for my children a website that would have a real person read real books with real pages. I wanted the format to be very simple and natural. I also wanted to assist my children’s comprehension of books, with added explanations, and enhance their enjoyment through the use of different voices, clarity of speech and engagement with the book (this, of course, had nothing to do with my husbands’ monotone, fast-paced, word for word recitations! It’s okay honey, you have different skills!).

Read to My Child is a free website for busy parents who would like an alternative to putting on the TV again when a job just needs to be seen to - like boiling pasta on the stove! The website is safe for children to navigate, with no inappropriate material.

I will be recording more stories in 2013 as I have already had feedback from parents that their children ‘Need More Stories' and who am I not to oblige!

I am also seeking self-published authors who would like one of their stories to feature on the site, so please be in touch if this is you! If you are a busy parent yourself, or know of others who might appreciate an educational alternative to the television at those busy moments, feel free to let them know about Read to My Child.

For more information or to make an enquiry about having your own book featured on this fabulous site, contact Jasmine at contactATreadtomychildDOTcom.au or on 0421 138 540 (Australia only).