How to make reading a treat, not a chore, for children

Allowing children to read ‘cool’ books rather than stiff old tomes the authorities think they should be ploughing through is the key to stimulating a creative love of reading. That’s according to a wonderful little article in the Evening Standard, Forget Austen, there are no explosions, which quotes Steven Moffat, the writer behind successful TV series Doctor Who and Sherlock.

Give a child a ‘cool’ book and she’ll devour it. Boring books get left on the shelf. (Pic:

He says: “We should give [children] really cool books that they think are exciting. It doesn’t matter if they are good books as long as they read. Reading makes you better at English. Reading a lot makes you want to read better books.”

He’s so right. I’m a professional writer now who can’t bear to flirt with badly written fiction. Life is far too short for that, and my bookshelves are stuffed with books I’d much rather commit to. However, as a 10-year-old child, I devoured just about every Continue reading

Why World Book Day is for life, not just for one day

Are your books for life, or just for one day? (image is a screen grab from

My eight-year-old daughter begs me for a story every night. It’s a treat for her to be read to – especially if I agree to read the books of her babyhood, but perhaps changing the voice, the tense, the direction and even the names of the character to spice it up a bit.

I’ve been reading to her – not always out loud, sometimes in my head – since she was first conceived. It never entered my mind that a child of mine wouldn’t want to hear stories read to her, and for her imagination to be fired.

I hadn’t planned any particular learning outcome from sharing my passion for stories with my little girl, but as it turns out she always gets Continue reading