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How to make Children read Classic books?

What do you mean by classic literature? Have you ever thought about the connotations underlying? A book is called classic when it is imbued with a bit of a universality. That people living in whatever countries could feel they can easily connect with the characters. They would feel like it is their story that is being written.

Are there any examples of such literature? We have a plethora of them. When you read the humongous volume of war and peace by Count Leo Tolstoy, you can vividly see the scenes unravelling in front of you.  When you read a book such as Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Raskolnikov could be anyone living among us.  Why do you cry when reading a short story by the legendary Russian novelist Anton Chekhov? It is because his characters have some universality in them and they could move us. The same applies to  the works of Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Thomas Hardy etc. Their works transcend the realms of time. This universality forms a major part of the writing crafts of the aforementioned authors. They can move you and even make you cry. Their subtleties and nuances could touch you.

Children are curious things. They always want to know what is happening all around them. This curiosity, if properly channelled could do wonders. It is the duty of parents and teachers, who are their guardians, to appropriately guide them. This blog discusses the importance of inculcating reading classic literature in children.

As most of the rules of socialization are unwritten, children learn about the environment around them mostly by a psychological process named as ‘mirroring’.  This is observing the behaviours and adults and in a sense copying them. This is why there is a saying that children need good role models, especially when they are in their formative stages. Inculcating reading habit is of utmost importance as it would aid the process of socialization.

So how to cultivate the habit of reading in children? This seems to be a million-dollar question. We can tell them, constantly, in an affable way about the importance of reading to them.  It should be in an engaging manner. We can tell them about the advantages of reading or even tell them stories as the first step. Like once upon a time, there lived a princess named Scheherazade, she was married to this sultan, and she started telling stories one night and she continued it for one thousand more nights.

This would spur the imagination of children. The creativity of children would get a strong stimulus. They will feel an urge to read themselves. At this stage what we have to do is giving some suggestions. Some of the good books we can suggest include Charlie and the chocolate factory (Roald Dahl),  The Chronicles of Narnia ( C.S. Lewis),  Charlotte’s web ( E.B.White), A Princess of  Mars ( Edgar Rice Burroughs).  This should be a slow transition. After reading these books, they can easily migrate to other classic books.

Children are our hopes. Book reading is a strong intellectual activity integral to child development. By helping them this way we are doing our part in shaping up a generation of dreamers.

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