Today, 8th September 2015, is International Literacy Day!
International Literacy Day is celebrated worldwide, bringing together governments, multi-and bi-lateral organizations, NGOs, the private sectors, as well as communities, teachers, learners, experts and parents. There are still some 250 million children world wide who cannot read or write and over 750 million adults with barely any literacy skills; the UNESCO officially founded September 8th as International Literacy Day on November 17th, 1965 in a bid to combat this and highlight the importance of literacy in individuals, communities and societies.
On International Literacy Day each year, UNESCO reminds the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning globally. If you want to learn more about International Literacy Day, head to the Events page on the UNESCO website.
As a blogger, I feel it may be a bit obvious that I enjoy writing. I’ve written my own stories, my own little whimsical novelettes and tried my hand at some pretty dodgy poetry, all for my own pleasure. I can boss out a pretty decent grade essay in no time at all and love learning new, and sometimes pompous, sounding words.Regardless of how good, or bad I am at any of these things, one thing is clear: I have always been thankful that I can write.
Being the book worm that I am, I am also so crazily thankful for my ability to read. I can read well. I can read aloud without any problems whatsoever. Many adults and children cannot. Imagine not being able to read! Where are you going, what are you eating/drinking, what does that big red sign say? And, let’s not forget the joy and escapism reading a good book can bring us!
In aid of today, I thought I’d share mine and Luke’s top 3 books of all time. Obviously, Luke only has 2 years of book reading (or listening) to go with, but he has some definite favourites (and I have a favourite I’d like to add to his list too!). I can’t promise I’m going to list great literature that fills your soul with inspiration or gives your life a new meaning, but I do like a good story that keeps you gripped and allows you to escape into someone else’s world. This was so difficult and, in hindsight, I wish I had given myself less pressure to chose my top 3. But without any further ado, here we go:
1. Spot The Dog, Eric Hill. I have yet to meet a single child who’s imagination hasn’t been captivated by the wonderfully simple every day tales of Spot, Sam and Sally, as well as all of Spot’s friends. We have a lovely book with 12 stories in that Luke flicks through at least three times a day. The illustrations are perfect, and of course, good old Spot is so magical and has captured the hearts of so many that it has been in cartoon form since FOREVER (in my early years viewing, Spot was voiced by none other than Tom Fletcher!)
2. Guess How Much I Love You, Sam McBratney/Anita Jeram. This always makes a great bed time story, or a pre-bedtime, bed time story! Luke likes to do the actions; he hops around and tries to reach as high as he can, it’s very cute to watch. It’s such an adorable to book to have a cuddle with and no matter how badly the day has gone, a little quiet moment with my babe and his book always makes things that little bit better again. Plus there are some gorgeous lines from the book and the illustrations have found their way onto so many enchanting products like cards, plates/bowls/cups and reward charts.
3. Chocolate Mousse For Greedy Goose, Julia Donaldson/Nick Sharratt. You can’t go too far wrong with a book if Julia Donaldson is involved and Chocolate Mousse For Greedy Goose is no exception. This book is a huge hit with my Lukeosaurus and provides hours of entertainment and conversation. The pages are bright and colourful, the story rhymes and there is a different animal and a different food on every page. It’s one of those books that’s enjoyable to read and to have fun with, but I have also noticed that Luke has learnt so much through reading it with me, which is such a wonderful thing to witness. To sum up his love for this book: if I ask him to get a book from the shelf during the day time, 9 times out of 10, he’ll come back to me with this one.
Added Extra From Me: The Velveteen Rabbit, Margery Williams/William Nicholson. Luke received this as a gift on his 2nd Christmas when he was just 1 year old. The book itself is so beautiful, the title is textured and lovely and it just feels so special and luxurious. If you’ve never read the book (I hadn’t!) then you’re missing out on possibly one of the worlds most charming children’s books in existence. It chronicles a little Velveteen rabbit’s quest to become real through the love of it’s owner.
1. To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee. Ah, this has been my favourite book for years and I honestly cannot tell you how excited I was to hear the news a while back that Harper Lee was releasing Go Set a Watchman (that I still haven’t finished reading!). I actually found this one tricky to get into at first, I was young when I first read it and the whole description of Maycomb and the people was all just a bit too boring. Then, out of no where, things got so serious and so dramatic that I couldn’t put it down. It has filled me with inspiration, horror, joy, and a strong attitude about what is acceptable and what is not. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone – when someone asks me for book suggestions, I almost always say To Kill A Mockingbird.
2. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins. Along with half the nation, I am a huge Hunger Games fan and I loved reading the books. I had watched both Hunger Games and Catching Fire before deciding I wanted to read the books before Mockingjay came out in the cinema and I am so glad I did! Mockingjay is my favourite of the books, it’s the revolution, the deceit, the demise of Snow, the coming together to Katniss and Peeta and of course, let’s not forget my favourite quote, “You love me, real or not real?” “Real.” *cries* I also have a Hunger Games tattoo on my chest, it desperately needs a bit of a touch up though!
3. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë. I know that this may make me seem a bit pretentious, but I really do like the classics. Again it’s one of those books I decided I’d read just to say I had and the beginning of the book was tricky to get into, especially as one of the character’s actually has an entire speech translation list in the back of the book, but then the plot started to get interesting and the drama started to happen! The front of the book has a family tree, if you’ve ever read the book, you’ll know why. If you haven’t and you start reading it, you’ll soon understand why! This little gem was definitely referred to once or twice. I would advise, if ever you want to read Wuthering Heights, that you try to do it in as little time as possible, so the information is fresh in your mind; it is a nightmare coming back to the story after a few weeks and not having a clue which Heathcliff or which Cathy is doing whatever it is they’re doing.
Gosh! I have to say that picking one book out of an entire series was very tricky! All the Hunger Games books are wonderful and I would recommend to EVERYONE, they’re easy and enjoyable reads! As well as my Mockingjay inspired tattoo, I also have a tattoo based on the Divergent series, but the books don’t quite make it into my top 3 unfortunately (although definitely the top 5!)
I know that I haven’t done International Literacy Day justice, but it’s been really fun to rack my brains and really make a list of the top 3 books that really have effected me in some way. I think, given my personality, some people may be surprised! Who knows. If you fancy sharing your top 3 book choices (it’s a very difficult decision to make!) I would LOVE to hear them! Discussing books always makes me feel really inspired and positive and I hope that maybe I have inspired some of you to go and have a good read (if you can find the time, we all know how busy parenthood is!)
If you have enjoyed reading this, how about reading some of my other book reviews: Guess How Much I Love You, Insurgent by Veronica Roth, Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32, Happy Mum, Happy Baby: Giovanna Fletcher Book Review. You can find loads more in the book review tag.