Storytime with Benja | Don't worry Little Crab - October 2021

Kids love to read; often they just don't know it yet. It's pretty tough at the beginning and the hill ahead can sometimes seem more like a mountain. My kids are both nearly 30, so it's been a while since I began reading Dr Seuss books with them, but when Benja moved in (he's 6) it's been delightful to watch and help in his reading progress. His learning journey comes with the added challenge of being bilingual and it's tempting not to correct some of the little mistakes, as they're so endearing. Watching as this new world opens-up to him is inspiring.

It's a journey worth starting early…

Learning to read is quite distinct from learning to speak and it doesn't happen all in one go. Kids are born with an innate curiosity, so with a little encouragement and a lot of books knocking around the house, you'll notice a steady progression in their reading development, with each new story piquing their interest and spurring them on to learn more. They also can't hide how clever they feel when they begin to recognise words and accidentally begin reading to themselves, or even just noticing signs in the street, opening their eyes to all the stuff that's going on around them, but they hadn't previously noticed.

Children's books have come a long way since the 60s. We work with a particularly wonderful book-house holding an incredible breadth of stock. That means the books available to us are so charming, varied, beautifully illustrated, cleverly constructed and inventive and simply lovely to hold, touch and turn the pages, it's tricky to know when to stop ordering. Our children's book section isn't huge, but it's perfectly formed and it's fun to notice the grown-ups having been sucked into the shelves, accidentally spending far longer in the shop than they intended.

Don't worry Little Crab is a charming book by Chris Haughton and follows in wonderful succession to some of his other titles, including "A Bit Lost", "Oh No, George!" and "Shh! We have a plan". He's one of the most popular children's authors and illustrators around today and is notable for his bold, quirky, vivid illustrations and humour. The only problem with them is that we can't nail 'em down and keep having to order in more.

Thanks to…
Benja, who's always willing to rise to the occasion, Mimi for her enchanting styling and Gui Bailey (check him out here) for his wonderful photography, film-making and editing skills.