How books can bring comfort during a difficult time
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Written by Amber Garvey, Tiny Owl intern
As a lifelong reader, books have been there for me through every event in my life, good and bad. They teach me, comfort me, allow me to escape for a little while. We are going through something extremely significant in our lives right now. For children, this is a confusing and unusual time. Fly with Tiny Owl was created to provide comfort and familiarity for children during a period they do not fully understand, with readalongs and fun activities to do while staying inside. Here are some ways I have found books help with coping with difficult situations:
- Books are an escape from real life. At the moment we are surrounded by news of the ongoing situation. Even just explaining the need to continue to stay inside will be a lot for young children to take in. Reading a book or having it read to you allows our minds to concentrate fully on the story and forget about the outside world for a while.
- Books can be our connection to our ‘outside’ lives. No one is too young for a book club! Children will be missing their friends and family. Weekly story time over video call with school friends can bring a social aspect back into children’s lives. Why not share your favourite Tiny Owl book or check out our book deal of the day!
- Reading can be a calming activity, a way to release some anxiety and pent up feelings, whether as a solo activity, listening to readalongs or being read to. Books bring a familiarity and comfort to the reader. Revisiting a favourite book or character during this time can be like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket and feeling at home.
- Picture books use more than just their words to teach readers. Illustrations and their use of colour can have an impact on a young readers interpretation of a story and what they get out of it. The progression of colour in Felix After the Rain replicates Felix’s emotional journey in the book, from dark to light. This can teach readers about difficult subjects in a subtle way. The layout of Felix can introduce a new way for children to express new emotions through colour association. Even if they do not fully understand what they are feeling, their choice of colour is an indicator and can help parents to figure out how to help them.
- Fiction allows relatable distance. By this, I mean it is the character going through a difficult time but the reader is able to relate this time to something in their lives, even if it is not the exact same situation. The fear of a monster under the bed is universal, however not every child’s monster will look like Grobblechops! Young readers can learn how to deal with their own monsters through how Amir befriends his.
- If, like me, young readers are finding it hard to focus during this time, readalongs can be a gateway into getting back into reading! Fly with Tiny Owl provides all of your Tiny Owl favourites, from Fair Shares to There’s Room for Everyone. Children can listen and watch these videos at any time of the day. Fly with Tiny Owl also have exciting activities for after!
- Finally, books bring a sense of hope to even the most difficult times. When a book finishes, conflicts have been resolved, friendships between children and monsters are formed and colour is restored. Books allow use to remember that there is always light to come.
There are so many ways books and stories can help us cope with new and strange situations, I have only listed a small number. Tiny Owl and Fly with Tiny Owl want to be with our readers and be a source of comfort and escape for them during this time. Our books are as powerful as our readers.
- Check out Fly with Tiny Owl activities with fantastic illustrator Hazel Terry!
- Watch: Ken Wilson-Max reads his books!
- Fun activities you can enjoy at home!
- Watch: Alan Durant’s reads his story Quill Soup!
- Guidelines for sharing Tiny Owl books during the COVID-19 crisis
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