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Would you like to read a book?

This is a book about sharing the joy of reading a book with a child and the child, in turn, sharing it back with an adult.

Photo of rbkn Balakrishnan

Written by

Mama sings,” The clouds go sailing by, the clouds go sailing by, hee-ho the baby-O, the clouds go sailing by” to Will as he sits on the window sill. He looks at the white clouds as Mama hands him to Granny. Then, she sails away on the hop-on hop-off bus, where she works as a travel guide. 

“Will, would you like me to read you a book?” asks Granny. Will cuddles on Granny’s lap as she reads to him a book about the animals at the zoo. Granny Rrr…oars like the lion, Grr..owls like the bear, Trrr…umpets like the elephant, Coooo…. s like the pigeon, Bark…s like the seal and how…..ls like the wolves. She stops at Will’s favourite page, of the picture of Baby bear and Mama Bear. “Will how does Baby bear Grrr..owl?” she asks and Will makes a ‘baby-sized’ grrr…owl. “How does Mama bear growl?” And Will looks at Granny as she makes a ‘Mama-sized’ GRR…owl.

Then Granny gives Will his colouring book with pictures of the animals in the zoo, the same one his Mama took him to.  “Will, let’s colour some of the animals”, she says as she goes about her work.

When Mama comes home, Will asks her, “Would you like me to read you a book Mama?”. Then, she cuddles next to Will as he reads her the same book Granny had read to him – Rrr..oaring, Trr…rumpeting, Cooo…ing,Bark…ing,How…ling, and finally, making his favourite sound, ‘baby-sized’ grrr….owls and asking Mama to make ‘Mama-sized’ GRR..owls. 

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

Nature is a wonderful teacher. Children are fascinated with nature and all living creatures found in nature, their sights and sounds. But in a city, there are limited avenues for children to appreciate nature in all her glory. It's only through books that this important part of our ecosystem can be shared with them. Children can be taught how to appreciate other living creature who are different from them. The earlier we share this, the better the well-being of our planet.

Share your suggested book title

Would you like me to read a book?

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

Mama sings,” The clouds go sailing by, the clouds go sailing by, hee-ho the baby-O, the clouds go sailing by” to Will as he sits on the window sill. He looks at the white clouds as Mama hands him to Granny. Then, she sails away on the hop-on hop-off bus, where she works as a travel guide. “Will, would you like me to read you a book?” asks Granny. Will cuddles on Granny’s lap as she reads to him a book about the animals at the zoo. Granny Rrr…oars like the lion, Grr..owls like the bear, Trrr…umpets like the elephant, Coooo…. s like the pigeon, Bark…s like the seal and how…..ls like the wolves. She stops at Will’s favourite page, of the picture of Baby bear and Mama Bear. “Will how does Baby bear Grrr..owl?” she asks and Will makes a ‘baby-sized’ grrr…owl. “How does Mama bear growl?” And Will looks at Granny as she makes a ‘Mama-sized’ GRR…owl. Then Granny gives Will his colouring book with pictures of the animals in the zoo, the same one his Mama took him to. “Will, let’s colour some of the animals”, she says as she goes about her work. When Mama comes home, Will asks her, “Would you like me to read you a book Mama?”. Then, she cuddles next to Will as he reads her the same book Granny had read to him – Rrr..oaring, Trr…rumpeting, Cooo…ing,Bark…ing,How…ling, and finally, making his favourite sound, ‘baby-sized’ grrr….owls and asking Mama to make ‘Mama-sized’ GRR..owls.

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

In the Tedtalk by psychologist Alison Gopnil, she compares children to scientists. She explains that although they may appear to imitate older people, they have an independent sense of likes and dislikes. This is evident when Will chooses a favourite animal and asks his mother which is her favourite animal. The learning centre videos show that exposing children to books at a very young age helps them build skills like decision making, understanding cause and effect, co-relating things in the real world with visuals or prints in a book. They also become readers for life if exposed to books at a very young age. In the letters in 'Dear Mister Rogers, it becomes very apparent that in any dialogic reading, there is the need to expand on responses. And furthermore, there is a need to respect responses from children and guide them through the conversations around texts or pictures.

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

I had visited the city as a tourist in 2003 and simply loved the hop-on hop-off bus rides! That's why I decided to use this in my book. And my daughters loved the Philly Zoo. I would love to share a picture of her hugging the bears statue! She has grown up and is a beautiful young veterinarian.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

The zological parks in a city are a respite from the concrete jungles that city dwellers are confined to. The zoo is a sanctuary more for the people of a city than the animals in the zoo. Children today are forced to live in a maze of buildings and roads and domesticated animals. The zoo is the first and most delightful connection that most children have with nature and its animals. Besdies the need for Moms and Dads and leave their babies in the care of extended family or other caregivers is another part of urban life.

Location: Country

India

Location: State or Department

Tamil Nadu

Location: City

Chennai

Website URL (optional question)

Not yet!

Tell us more about you / your team

I am a teacher and have been working with children from ages 5 to 15 for over two decades. I started my career as a story teller for kindergarten children in an after school centre and moved on to teaching English to middle and high school IGCSE students. Currently I work with children from under-privileged backgrounds and build their communication and thinking skills through stories by both Indian and International authors. I also train teachers to use stories as a tool for building English or native language skills and develop thinking skills.

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

I have an image of my daughter at the Philly zoo. I would like to use that as a gesture of thanks to this little girl in my life. We had visited over 20 zoos while we were in the USA between 2000-2004. And now this little girl is all grown up and soon to complete her Veterinary doctor degree.

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • No

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • OpenIDEO announcement email

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am a teacher who loves reading and listening tostories.

10 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Dawnnbooks .
Team

Such a beautiful story.
BUT...
The word count is 250 words this has 466 words.
To have a chance in the competition the story has to be edited.
The good news is... you have time.
The deadline is next Friday.

Photo of rbkn Balakrishnan
Team

I have reduced the number of words but it's still a little over 250. Does it have to be exactly 250?

Photo of Dawnnbooks .
Team

In my experience... Yes.
There are almost 250 submissions in this competition so any story that doesn't follow the rules is running the risk of being cut.

Photo of rbkn Balakrishnan
Team

Yes, totally understand. Will reduce to the word limit.

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

This is lovely Rbkn and I enjoyed reading it.

I think you could cut some of the words by thinking about what will be shown in the pictures. For example we will see Will sitting on the window sill, we will see the animal pictures in his colouring book and also what is on his favourite page. If you think about how the illustrations can show what you want to say it can help you to reduce the word count.

Good luck with your submission :o)

Photo of Dawnnbooks .
Team

This is very true.
That is how I got around the word count with mine. PEANUT AND SAM AT THE ZOO. Feel free to look at it as an example of what we are saying.
GOOD LUCK TO US ALL.

Photo of Dawnnbooks .
Team

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