Book readings for children and bilingual book readingsA book reading is an event set to entertain and educate children. I always use a book for telling a story. I show its illustrations. I read the book slowly and try to make children understand all the vocabulary. I offer them simple definitions of new words.
I act out parts of the story. To this end, I change my voice and pace as mood changes or mimic the voice of characters that come to view. I also use some of the following props : puppets, geographic maps, magnetic panel, slide show.
The session is participative. So I invite the kids to come on stage in some parts of the story. I ask questions during and after I finish reading the story, such as what is going on now? Where did the character go? what do you think it will happen next? What did you like most about this story? What is your favourite character?
If there is time at the end, I ask the children to remember the order of events, how the story started and how it ended. I ask if they would like to suggest other finals to the story. Younger children can express themselves through drawings and art work.
Some elements facilitate a good session. A comfortable room and good lighting. For larger groups of children, I recommend chairs arranged like in a theater. For smaller groups, I suggest a circle of chairs or the use of pillows for children to sit on the floor. I need a desk for me to be able to display the book and organize the props which will be used during the event.
The following equipment and materials could be required: Computer, slides projector, magnetic board, whiteboard, drawing materials (paper, crayons, glue, scissors).
As it happens in any event, it would be ideal to count with the work of other professionals such as photographer, musician, journalist, as well as helpers who can assist me to handle the puppets, organize the seating and also encourage children to stay calm and keen to listen to the story.
On bilingual readings, I read the story in Portuguese while a native speaker of the foreign language repeats the version of the story in its own language. We do this page by page. A literal translation of all the stories in English and of some of them in German are available. I expect that event organizers will provide a volunteer for this task.
Arrange a book reading
- Duration: 30 minutes to read the story and 30 minutes for Q&A, drawings, art work.
- Audience: Ideal: 20-25 children. Minimum: 6 children. Maximum: 40 children.
- Age: Children between 4 and 10 years old.
- Language: Portuguese. Portuguese-English. Portuguese-German.
- Cost: Purchase of two copies of the book, accommodation (if outside London), travel expenses and light lunch.