It’s world book day this Thursday, in light if that, I’ve adapted my post this week to talk more about reading and less about me. Here are my 5 recommendations for awesome books to read to your children.
1. The Lion Inside
An inspirational story that shows we all have a lion inside of us.
2. Look Up
A story that teaches us the importance of paying attention and sometimes all we need to do to experience something wonderful is ‘Look Up’.
3. The Lost Happy Endings
Beautiful poetic imagery in this book in which our happy endings are rescued.
4. The Spiderwick Chronicles
A series of books filled with magic and mischief.
5. Noughts & Crosses
A teen read that explores slavery, racism and love in dangerous times.
I have read all of the above books and there are so many more I could list but these are a great place to start.
Let’s say this is not going to be your usual how to guide. Yes I lead writing in a primary school. Yes I write this little ol’ blog in my corner of the interweb and Yes I studied creative writing at university but does that mean I have the right to tell you anything?
I’m unpublished, except for that one poem hidden in an out of print book somewhere; the name of which I can’t remember. That technically means that I know absolutely nothing. However, what I do know is how to write from the heart and to me that’s what creativity is all about.
Nobody has exactly the same thoughts or opinions about the same thing. I mean let’s test it out… what 3 words come to mind when I say the word morning?
For me it’s stretch, work, yoga now if you chose exactly the same words as me I’d like you to hop out of my head and make your own way in the world because this lane is taken. However if by some non-miracle you chose different words to me congratulations, that is the beginning of creativity. The best exercise in creative writing I got was just to sit and allow your mind to wonder and write EVERY SINGLE THOUGHT that comes to mind. When you’re done you have so much on the page that can create something beautiful.
If I could sit in a different city everyday and write for a living, I think that’s what I’d do. Creativity is often born out of experience. The more you allow yourself to experience in life the more you have to write about. How many of us can write about stripping off in the Caribbean on a back road up a mountain and jumping into a river in the mid morning sun with soap and flannel in hand for a river bath, before climbing into the back of a strangers pick up truck to head into the nearby town?
Though it can be taught in books, it’s probably better to read a wide range of books about everything than to read one book on creativity and think that you can unlock the power of creative writing.
So to be clear, what I’m telling you is this.
1. Write anything and everything.
2. Live a life worth writing about.
3. Read widely.
Get those creative juices flowing and when you’ve done that share it with me. I love to see it!
I don’t know about you but embracing my afro was a real journey. I used to beg my mum to hot comb my hair and for those of you who have been through the experience, you’ll know that having your hair hot-combed is a mild form of torture. Those burns to the scalp and ears were well worth the pain just to flick my hair like the white girls in movies.
This is where representation is important, if you don’t see yourself on the television, in the classrooms, in the business world and in books what you aspire to becomes something that is so far detached from you that in your mind it is virtually unobtainable.
I’ve been so enthused to see a rise of representation in the media of black and ethnic minority people and my only hope is that this doesn’t just fizzle out as a fad but instead becomes our new normal.
I was very privileged to have been sent a copy of the book ‘Lily and the magic Comb‘ by singer songwriter VV Brown. The book is a great addition to any little girls collection. It’s a great book for teaching rhyme in the early years and inspires little black girls to harness their imaginations and dream big.
I’ll be running a competition over on my Instagram to win your own copy of Lily and the magic Comb so head on over and enter.