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Pocket-sized Story-time by Andy Shepherd author of The Boy Who Grew Dragons

Pocket-sized Story-time

I’ve always loved story-time both as a child and then as a parent. There is something so comforting about it for everyone involved.

We often talk about bed-time stories, but really there can be so many opportunities to share a story throughout the day; whether it’s a poem while children are getting dressed or putting their shoes on, a picture book at bath-time or an audio book in the car.

When my children were young I had one son who ate really fast and another who ate really slowly. To try and keep everyone at the table together a little longer, I started ‘tea-time reads’. It was something we got into the habit of doing and turned out to be something we did right up until college beckoned!

With everyone’s lives so busy we are often working with pockets of time (and energy) so it’s good to remember that sharing stories can be a fill-in-the-gap, pocket-sized activity. It can be so great to make reaching for a book or a poem the first thing you think of when you have a few minutes to pass – and then hopefully it will become theirs as well.

 

And if you’re out and about and there’s no book to hand, (although there are pocket-sized books so you really can keep one in your back pocket!) I’d heartily recommend trying out your own story telling skills. It can be as simple as retelling a favourite book – my kids loved filling in the details when I did this and missed important details and of course that gets them more involved too.

 

It was making up stories like this that led me back to my childhood love of writing. One of the stories I told them was a rambling adventure about a knight – and my eldest son still regales me with parts of this which I have completely forgotten.

 

Then there was the story of a little boy who finds a dragon-fruit tree in his grandad’s garden. This one I remember a little better!  I wrote ‘The Boy Who Grew Dragons’ a chapter a day and read it to my sons when they came home from school. It was their enthusiasm for the story that kept me writing and ensured I finish it. It was another lovely shared story-time only this time with one of my own. Of course, I had no idea our dragon would take us on quite such an adventure or grow into six books!

Wishing everyone lots of wonderful pocket-sized adventures!

Andy

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