Independent children’s publisher, Nosy Crow, who are currently partnering with The Guardian to manage a children’s book blog for adult readers of children’s fiction, also have a comprehensive website and blog of their own.
One of the things they have been posting about is their exploration into the way that new media technology and apps are changing the way we read and share stories together.
One of the benefits of purchasing a book by one of the authors writing under the banner of Nosy Crow publishers is that as well as reading the stories, you also get to listen to them. Each book in the Stories Aloud series comes with an audio file of the story, read in children’s voices, and replete with music and appropriate sound track of noises to enhance the story listening experience.
In the past, this kind of package would have been offered as a cassette or CD that came with the book. Now all you have to do is simply use your phone, iPod touch, or tablet to download a QR code reader, and scan the code on the inside of the book’s cover to access the audio file of the story.
Once you have ‘read’ the story with your scanning device you can then keep it and listen to it as many times as you like, either whenever you are online or by saving the story as a file on your computer or phone.
This is a great way to encourage children to read along with a text as you can play the file and read the book alongside it. As it is delivered in children’s voices it also gives the child who owns the book the belief that they can read, because the other children are showing them that it is possible for children to read.
Quite often children do not feel empowered to try reading out loud for themselves, or only if they know a word very well, because they are, for the most part, reading only to adults. They often don’t think about the fact that those adults who know what to do, only know what to do because they learned to do it themselves when they were children. They cannot imagine being grown up, and they can be nervous of making a mistake in front of an adult.
It really helps a child’s confidence when they hear other children reading fluently because they have a role model they can copy from and aspire to be like.