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“The reason why children need books and adults need books is essentially the same. It’s to help us make sense of the world around us. For children, plays an additional role in supporting the development of language and literacy skills. understanding and expressing oneself are fundamental skills on which all other learning in school depends. Children’s literature can play an important role in the development of these fundamental skills in children”, she added. PHL is part of Tata Trusts Parag initiative to catalyze the ecosystem of children’s literature in India. Given the gaps in the ecosystem at many levels, while Parag works with publishers to develop good quality content especially in Indian languages ​​and manages libraries, it also helps librarians to develop professionally to reinforce the circle of reading.

Oral and written stories develop imagination, creativity and help us make sense of the world around us. | Unsplash

In its third edition, the Parag Honor List 2022 includes 38 English and nine Hindi books across all genres, from over 200 entries received from 23 Indian publishers for books published between October 2020 and September 2021. Noting that stories and stories are “fundamental to being human,” Patwardhan said, the human mind thrives on stories, and there’s growing evidence from evolutionary biology, psychology and neuroscience to back that up. “Oral and written stories develop imagination, creativity and help us make sense of the world around us. Stories are also powerful ways in which we imagine a different world. Stories help us understand ourselves as well as those we have never met. Stories have this power.

“When reading stories, illustrations in picture books open up the visual imagination to fuel several skills in children, including curiosity and creativity. This helps children find things they can relate to. ‘identify and become curious to know more.Reading plays a dual role for children, where on the one hand it helps them to understand their environment, and it also opens doors to new experiences, cultures, traditions , geographies and perspectives,” Patwardhan explained. Lately, she said, there’s been a lot of work coming out of neuroscience and psychology that sees symbols and languages ​​as something very central to being human. “Research also dwells on the importance of story as a format and narrative in helping human beings make sense of the world around them. The first point of entry into the world of books should be in the language with which the child is most comfortable. – their mother tongue.

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Books can also be used to learn different languages ​​and master skills. | Unsplash

“Gradually, books can also be used to learn different languages ​​and master skills. For younger children, the first thing they look at in a book are the pictures. The illustrations help children anchor and deepen their understanding of stories and developing their aesthetic sense and imagination in a variety of ways,” she added. So supporting and nurturing children’s love of reading as parents, educators, and caregivers can help to foster their emotional growth.” Read-aloud experiences with parents or teachers help form a positive association with reading as an enjoyable activity to look forward to. Stories have the power to help develop empathy, patience and the ability to put yourself in another’s shoes,” Patwardhan said.

While children learn much through observation and imitation and actively construct their own meanings, “it is very well established in educational research that children who grow up in homes where parents and guardians read for pleasure are more likely to begin to associate joy and enjoyment with books, long before they can read and write themselves, so it is important for parents and guardians to help children form positive associations with reading by making enjoyable reading, not just a necessity associated with exams,” she said. One way to start, especially when children are young, is to create a print-rich environment with easy access to a variety of meaningful reading materials.Research also shows that children who are read to bedtime stories or school reading sessions have more vocabulary. rich.

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“Access to quality literature in schools is important for every child, but it is especially important for children from illiterate homes.” | Unsplash

“However, this is not a reality for many children in India. Access to quality literature in schools is important for every child, but it is especially important for children who come from illiterate homes. C “This is where the school and the school library can play an active role. Well-organized libraries at the community and school level, and a teacher who likes to read herself become very important,” Patwardhan said. Tata Trusts, through The Parag Honor List Book Box initiative, provides Outstanding Books of the Year to non-profit organizations, libraries, schools, home libraries and learning centers that have done meaningful work in the library space.” Through this initiative, we are prioritizing libraries serving children in underserved communities. Over the past two years, we have been able to send more than 100 boxes of PHL books to libraries that operate in very remote areas of more than ten states and reach children in the remotest corners of India,” concluded Patwardhan. (IANS/SP)

(Key words: children, literature, citizen, language, skills, citizen, access, library, books, reading, imagination, creativity.)

James S. Joseph