chapter  18
6 Pages

Early readers

Stepping beyond the picture book into the early-reader stage is not a huge leap but it is a very important one because it can be the start of the rest of a child’s life, opening up a whole new and huge world. One of the first things we have to think about is the movement away from pictures to books with the odd line drawing here and there. But while the language of the picture book is kept deliberately simple and fairly precise, as I revealed above, at the early-reader stage we can begin to introduce a simile and perhaps even a small metaphor without having to rely on the illustration to support it. But let’s remind ourselves of something about story.Tony Burgess asks, ‘What happens when we tell a story and why do we do it?’ He answers the question himself:

Most of us, perhaps, tell stories of some kind daily – out of our own need, or for our own and other people’s pleasure. Sometimes these stories are about ourselves (at their simplest about what we have been doing), sometimes about others (for the interest of our audience in a mutual acquaintance).What the listener is generally interested in is how the world appears to another person.When the story illuminates that, we are close to fiction.