Importance of Books in Child Development


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It is believed that the love towards reading is considered a stepping stone for children to make them enthusiastic learners, confident readers, speakers, and listeners as well as writers. Books are a good and great source of knowledge and when the children are reading them, it helps them in their development (10 reasons why books are still important for child development. 2016). In the present time, the internet and computers are considered the main sources of knowledge and entertainment for the people. Along with this, the children who are between the ages of 7 to 10 also know how to use the internet, operate phones and other gadgets, etc. From these sources, they have neglected to open the books for the reading of learning (The Importance of Books in Child Development. 2015). So, it is parents' responsibility that they have to explain the importance of books to their children so that they can understand that books are one of the good educational sources of learning and development. If the children's ability to understand the essentialness of books then it will improve their imagination and they can better realize the world where they are living. Along with this, with the help of various story, adventure, etc themes books, social skills can be well developed in the children and they will learn about relationships and emotions (The Importance of Literacy and Books in Children's Development. 2016). The present study is relating to child readers who may take overt and covert messages from the books. For this, a 7-13 year old age group is taken into consideration and the two children's books based on the adventure themes are also considered. The objective that will be highlighted in the essay is issues in the stories related to gender roles, race, power, social class, violence and cruelty, environment, etc.

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A brief description of the stories

Story One: What Katy Did

The author of What Katy Did book is Susan Coolidge. It is a series of The Katy Books and comes under the children's literature segment. This book was published in 1872 by Roberts Brother's publisher. The theme of the book is based on an adventure. As per the plot of the story, a 12-year-old Katy lives in Burnet, a small midwestern town with her widowed father, three sisters and two brothers (Wall and Crevecoeur, 2016). Her mother died four years earlier. Her father is a very busy doctor who is always working long hours. Due to this, all the children are caring by her father's sister Aunt Lizzie. She is very particular about things and something of an unpleasant person when things are not working according to her. Most of the time, Katy is facing the anger of the aunty because of not obeying the instructions. She also dreams that she will do something good and grand in her life such as painting pictures of famous people, saving the lives of drowning people, etc (Mathiesen, 2013). When her mother died, she promised her mother that she would be a little mother to her siblings. But like the other big sisters, she is sometimes impatient and angry with the younger brothers and sisters.

One day, her cousin Helen comes to visit Katy's home, and she starts to be enchanted by her cousin's beauty and kindness (Wardi, 2014). After the departure of Helen, she resolves to model herself on her cousin ever afterwards. The next day, Katy quarrels with her aunt in the morning on some of the issues and pushes her little sister so hard that she falls down half a dozen steps. After all this incident, she makes the decision to try out a new swing in the woodshed. For this, her aunt forbade it because according to her, the swing is unsafe because one of the supporting staples is cracking. It is very well known by all parents that children should obey their instructions without asking any questions (Saracho and Spodek, 2010). But in Katy, she refuses to follow the commands of her aunt swings as high as she can and tries to touch the roof. The result of this activity is staple gives way and she falls hard on the ground. Now she is bedridden and suffering from high pain. In this situation, Katy's cousin suggests she either learn from this condition or take the risk of losing her family's love of rude behaviour. From this, she takes the decision to make the room tidy and nice to visit as well as change the behaviour of talk (Davila and Patrick, 2010). After all this incident, she learns the lesson of how the situation needs to be handled even if you are in pain.

Story Second: The Story of the Treasure Seekers;

The author of The Story of treasure seekers is E. Nesbit and it was published in 1899. The theme of the story is based on adventure and published by T. Fisher Unwin publisher in the UK (Barter and Berridge, 2011). It is a story of the six children Dora, Oswald, Dicky, Alice, Noel, and Horace Octavius who are living with their widowed father. They are helping their father to find out the old and parental fortune to overcome the poorness of the family. The story is narrated by considering the children's point of view so that it can be easy to develop their imagination power (Zwiers and Morrissette, 2013). Along with this, it will enable the child reader to know that the strong willpower of a person never stops him from completing the work which he wants to do in his life. From the different characters of the story, the children will understand how decisions can be taken in life when the situations are not in their favour. The different chapters of the book and the writing style motivate the child reader to complete the book by reading and understanding the various situations (Gates, 2011).;

From the above stated both the stories, it has been found that it helps the child readers to consider the positive things of the characters and adopt them in life. Along with this, these have improved the imagination power of the children. Along with this, it has proven that child readers take both positive and negative learning from the books which are sometimes overt and covert for them, in addition to this, the storybooks have also helped in the social and personal development of the children (Maynard, 2010).

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Thematic analysis of the key motifs, characters, and events

In the past time, there were many books written by the authors for the children and which have been based on various themes. Generally, the major key motifs selected by the writers are the adventure, fantasy, animal stories, princesses, magic, etc (McCabe, Fairchild, Grauerholz, Pescosolido and Tope, 2011). For the present two child stories, the themes of both are similar and they are based on adventure motifs. The reason behind preparing the stories on this theme is in the past time, there was no use of the internet and other electronic gadgets. The children had only one source to gain knowledge which was books. By these, they learned things and try to implement them in practical life (Dyke, 2010). With the help of this, the child readers were getting good knowledge about the various situations and that make the improvements in the different learning, speaking, writing and presenting skills. So, the themes of both stories have explained the importance to the children's readers about the adventure in life. Along with this, they can learn various things such as decision-making, imagination power, reading skills, etc. Therefore, it can be said that adventure-based stories have revealed both overt and covert messages to child readers (Mitchell, 2015).

On the other hand, when a story is prepared or developed, some of the characters have taken birth because, without them, a story is never complete. Without them, the reader cannot be analyzed or determine, what is going on in the tale. So, it can be said that characters are the most important part of every narrator (Fisch and Truglio, 2014). When a reader reads the story, that time he finds some imaginary beings where a tale revolves around him. During this, he analyzed and judged the various roles of characters. On the basis of this, he makes the decision whether the narrator is good or bad and delivers any kind of fruitful message or not. In the case of What Katy Did story, the major characters are Katy, his aunt Lizzie and cousin Helen (Elia, van den HeuvelPanhuizen. and Georgiou, 2010). Katy is a girl who sees her dreams with open eyes and thinks that one day she will do something big. But when she faces the pain after falling from the swing, she realizes that she has to change her behaviour otherwise she will lose her family's love and affection for always. On the other side, Aunt Lizzie is very particular for then things and scolds the children a lot because she does not understand their activities and mood swings. Besides this, cousin Helen is the one who told Katy to show kindness in her behaviour and be always cheerful because, without it, she would not be able to fight her pain (Smeets and Bus, 2013). So, she helps Katy to adjust to her illness and maintain patience. So, from the analysis, it can be said that Cousin Helen has made a positive impact on the reader because, from her life, the child readers can take the inspiration to adopt kindness, cheerfulness and many other things in life. Along with this, they also take the lesson about helping others when someone is in a problem or facing any kind of issue.

But in the case of The story of Treasure Seekers, the role of five children assists the child readers to learn how to face the situations effectively and make the efforts to achieve the goals of the work. The characters of five children also inspire them to work hard at any stage of life. The narrators of the tale have made a positive impression on the readers and developed an interest to keep the reading habit over life (Tare, Chiong, Ganea and DeLoache, 2010).

In the case of an event that happens in both the stories have both positive and negative impressions on the child reader's mind. The event occurs in the What Katy Did story, the character Katy's behaviour before the accident and after has inspired the readers to always carry the behaviour of kindness and cheerfulness to handle any type of situation in life (Gray, 2010). Along with this, the character of Helen and its lesson to Katy also helps the children to learn to help others. On the other hand, the event that happens in The Story of treasure seekers is related to how the bistable children search the fortune and deal with various difficult situations. From this, child readers can gain knowledge about how to solve problems effectively (Wolf, 2014).

From the overall, it can be said that all the stories have some overt and covert message that helps the child readers to take from a book. It assists them to learn different things such as helping others in various situation, analysing problems, making the right decisions, etc. These all overt and covert messages from the tales and it has positively affected the development of the children in both social and personal aspects (Larson, 2010).

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Issues in both stories

In both stories, the major issues are commonly found in death, bereavement loss, violence and cruelty. These all have been explored from the reading of both stories. In the first story, it can be seen that the aunt of Katy has scolded the children when they were not following her instructions (Bratton, 2015). It is a kind of violence and cruelty to the children and it affects their mental and physical development of them. It makes them more rude and tough towards other people. On the other hand, the death of a mother in both stories shows that not getting the love of the mother makes the children rude and they are always looking for and expecting love and affection from relatives and other elder people. Because of this, it has brought changes in the behaviour of the child and due to this, they have made the wrong decisions in their life. On the other hand, from both the stories, it has also been determined that the narrators have faced bereavement because of the loss of the lovable people in life (Cline and Fay, 2014). The sorrowfulness in life has affected the mental development of the children because it has brought negative thoughts in the mind by which they have always thought the same things and does not make them concentrate on the work. They have always lived in the fear that everyone will leave them someday and they will spend their life alone.


From the above essay, it can be concluded that children gain more knowledge and learn things. With the help of this, they have the ability to bring improvements in different skills such as writing, reading, imagination, learning, presentation, etc. Stories are the best way to develop the habit of reading in children. Because it assists them to analyze the things and make reactions according to them. There are different types of key motifs in the stories such as adventure, fantasy, animal-based, etc. All the tales have some moral that the child readers can learn and apply in life. Besides this, the characters of the story have also made impacts on the reader's mind that may be negative or positive. The perception of judging the narrators has varied from person to person. Along with this, the mentioned events in the tale have also affected the behaviour of the children. Besides this, sometimes, the stories are also based on various issues such as gender roles, race, social class, power, attitudes to money, wealth and poverty, homelessness, death, bereavement and loss, romantic and sexual relations, violence and cruelty, the environ

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