Monday, 22 August 2016

Has a table got legs?

by Erica Bentel

“Has a table got legs?”  
“No….Yes!...No….??”
“Yes it has.”
“Yes!!!”
“Oh, so does that mean this table can go running around the library??”
“Nooooooo!!!!”

… and then you see their eyes light up. And you see them start laughing as they click onto the humour. And now they are playing with language…. thinking creatively, thinking laterally. 


And the games begin…

But will a four year old get this? You’d be amazed!! How about a 6 or 7 year old? They find it sooo funny. 8 & 9 year olds? Absolutely! In the same way I found it funny when I first came up with the idea for this book. The English language is quirky and when you look at it like this you’ve just got to love it.

“It’s quite simple – if you want your child to love reading, find them books they love to read.”

Parents often ask me how to get their child to like reading. To me it’s quite simple. Find them books they love to read.
… As adults we’re no different. When we read a great book, we go looking for another. When we’re going through a dry phase and can’t find a book that grabs us, we end up watching TV. 
So when people ask me what books to buy for their kids, I have one answer – think about your child and then find them something they’ll love.


Erica Bentel
This is also why I make my children’s workshops laugh-out-loud fun. Reading should be an absolute joy. Lateral and creative thinking should be revelled in. It’s a skill, like any sport. In fact… I see writing as sports for the brain.

“Writing for me is like Sports for the Brain”

So in my workshops with the youngsters I introduce them to this love of language – to the sheer joy you can have with playing with words and language... which leads to the joy of playing with ideas… which itself leads to lateral and creative thinking.

Which brings me to Can You Crack Them? 
The word games in this book are for ages 6 – 106.


Here’s one, see if you can crack it….


The clue is in the sentence above, so the answer means “neat”.

Tie + D = TIDY (which is another word for neat)  

Get it? Neat!

They get tougher and tougher and often your children will crack them faster than you, much to your horror and their absolute delight!

What makes these books special for me is the interaction that takes place. These are books that families can enjoy together. All ages, Bobbas and Zaidas included. 

So… parents, grandparents are welcome to attend these sessions. My only request is, if you are bringing your children to the workshop/s, please don’t let them see the books in advance. They’ll have heaps more fun if it’s all new to them!

If you’re not coming to the workshops but choose to get the books anyway, I hope you have the best fun with them.

Hoping to see you at the Festival! 

Me … I can’t wait!!!!!!!


Erica Bentel will be lead two workshops for children with PJ Library at the Sydney Jewish Writers Festival on Sunday August 28: "Has a Book Got a Spine?" at 9:45am - 11:00am suitable for children in Years K to 3; and "Can You Crack Them? Word Puzzles" for children in Years 1 to 5 at 11:00am - 12:15pm.

Book today at www.sjwf.org.au!




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