Originally posted on Thursday, November 19, 2009

Just came back from a wonderful dinner party at a friend’s place. There I meet another mother, who has inspired me to write this blog 🙂
While most people consider reading as a skill which will be developed in a child when he/she starts school, it should not be ignored till pre-school age. ….
A wonderful way of ensuring that your child will have the love of reading is to first teach them the love of a BOOK!

Yes you read me correctly! Reading at an early age is not about just recognizing alphabets and making sense of the words. Rather, it is more about gazing at the pictures and developing imagination!! You will be truly amazed if you ever let your child read his/her own story. You will actually find a 3+ year’s old kid making up his own story just by looking at the pictures! This is your first window in your Childs imagination development!

I believe imagination is very important as it teaches you to dream…and without dreams you never have aspirations…and without aspirations you will never have the zest to move forward! As you could have guessed by now…I DO live on cloud #9 😉

Getting back to reading, when I mention how important it is, most Moms I know talk about traveling abroad, or going back to their homeland to get some good books the NEXT time they travel! But ladies! No need to do that anymore! Let me share the two treasures I have discovered in Jeddah!

First, let me tell you about ‘ Little Book’. They have a group page on Facebook. I am sure you must have an account on Facebook…if NOT!! Then you should first be making that and then reading my blog!!

Little Book says the following about its self on its group page: ‘Little Book is a specialty bookstore for children (ages 0-12).We nurtures the love of reading and supports those who are passionate about books that honor growing young minds. Our mission is to provide parents and children with a large and carefully selected inventory of quality children’s books.’

Little Book is located in Roshan Mall, which is at the south end of Tahlia Street. It is the mall with Virgin Store. The shop is located on the upper floor.

I have taken my kid there several times, and have had the pleasure of buying some really good and educational books…things that may not be found elsewhere in Jeddah…But what is really remarkable is the pricing! Considering that the store wants to encourage young readers, the prices are really appropriate, and not too high. Plus the kids can sit under this pretty tree that has been constructed at the end of the shop.

Another great thing about Little Book is that it holds regular Reading Hours on Thursday mornings. On the particular reading days, a lady picks two or three books from the book store, and then sits under the wooden tree and reads the book in a very interesting and animated manner! She gets the kids involved by asking questions and making comments! One can say that she brings the book to life! Later, you can buy the same book for your kid as well.

This is the best activity for kids who are 3 years and older to learn to listen to someone reading. Younger kids are not encouraged for this, as they have naturally short attention spans, and may disrupt the whole experience for the rest of the crowd…still, do give it a try! I promise you will like it! Oh! And you can leave your mobile number with the Store Manager, who will send you an SMS from Little Book whenever there is a reading hour scheduled.

Another lovely place is ‘My Library’, which is located on Rowdah Street. This is another jewel hidden in Jeddah. They also have Story time, and as a bonus have educational; courses for kids! They have a group on Facebook, and also have a website. You can check them out at their Facebook page.

‘My Library’ is based on the concept of giving. The importance of giving and sharing has to be taught to your kids. You can bring them to this library, and may end up spending hours here. This Library boasts to carry around 9,000 books! And even offer you the privilege of asking for a book they do not have, and they will specially order it in the library for you. You can check out the website for rules on how to become a member and how to check out the books. I would say that ‘My Library’ is a MUST place to take your little ones.

I hope this information will help you in spending more quality time with your little angles, while teaching them the magic of reading :)…HAPPY READING!!!