Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Why I prefer not to categorize by age

 

Generally, I prefer not to categorize books into age brackets.

Why? Surely it makes it easier for people to find suitable books?

In part that could be true, but it also means that children may miss out on wonderful reading experiences because they (or their adult people) have dismissed a book due to an age recommendation.

My eight year old niece has happily watched and listened as I have read books with my two year old son. Drawn to the attractive illustrations, the simplicity of the story and the shared family time, the eight year old has valued the reading experience as much as the two year old.

In my work, either at a group story time or during one-to-one work, I often find that the simplest of books can lead to complex discussions amongst children. 

Wherever I am working, I like to have a book shelf with a broad range of books catering to mixed abilities and interests. This means that the book corner includes everyone and children can simply enjoy books for what they are and how they are feeling on a particular day. It's accepted among the group of children that, no matter how old you are, you can enjoy any type of  book- lift-the-flaps, comics, board books, wordless books, fairy-tales, fantasy or chapter books. This makes the library corner a truly inclusive, community space. And the lack of categories makes tidy up time a whole lot easier!

Some words of wisdom from C.S. Lewis.....

The neat sorting out of books into age ranges, so dear to publishers, has only a very sketchy relation with the habits of any real readers. Those of us who are blamed when old for reading childish books were blamed when children for reading books too old for us. No reader worth his salt trots along in obedience to a time-table.CS Lewis (1952)



Happy Reading,

Missus B x

You may also be interested in some of the information on No to Age Banding.org

2 comments:

  1. My thoughts, exactly! Thanks for putting it down so lucidly!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Richa....sounds like we're on the same page ;)

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