Let me introduce myself. I’m Susan, a wife, a mum and a primary teacher. I’ve been teaching since I entered teacher training in 1990 and I can’t believe that we are at the beginning of yet another new decade! Where have the last 30 years gone??

Most of those years I have spent teaching early years. Little kids are the best. The laughs you get on a daily basis as they try to master the language and the world around them. I love watching how much they learn and progress over the year, and even though our job can be frustrating I never tire of those wide eyes of wonder.

As our world changes our children are obviously changing with it. I have noticed that sadly over the last decade children are becoming more and more reliant on technology for every day entertainment and functioning which in turn is diluting skills in basic communication and language. We need to change this before we lose our children to the sedation of a screen and their love of books.

Reading for enjoyment is important. I spent my whole childhood with my nose in a book. From Milly-Molly-Mandy, to Secret Seven to Sherlock Holmes, I whiled away the evenings and weekends immersed in character lives while my parents were busy with their adult responsibilities. And with my own children (now 17 and 13) my favourite time with them was snuggling up in bed with a favourite story, usually Julia Donaldson’s The Highway Rat, which I reckon I must have read to them at least a hundred times!! There is nothing better than the familiarity of a story learnt. Both my girls also became avid readers and I think this was mainly to do with me instilling my love of books in them. However, as they grow into young adults, technology has taken over their lives. I can only hope that they remember their bedtime stories with fondness and replicate those special times when they have their own children.

As a teacher, this year with a primary two class, I read to my little ones every day. I’m pretty sure most teachers do. We know the importance of storytelling. It engages imagination, increases vocabulary, improves spelling and encourages creativity. It allows understanding of emotions, relationships and life situations that we hope that they will, or hope that they will not, experience. It promotes discussion and therefore communication and that can only be positive for our future. They love to hear my silly voices, look at the beautifully illustrated pictures and escape from reality for ten minutes. And when we get really down to it, that’s what a good story does. It helps us to escape. Escape the dishes, the ironing and the bills. It may also make you wish that your husband was more like Edward Cullen, but hey, it can’t all be positive!

My love of books and storytelling has now become a small side business as I recently became an Usborne Books at Home organiser. I can’t recommend Usborne books highly enough. They have a huge range of both fiction and non-fiction which are all bright, colourful and appealing to children. There really is something for everyone and I love to help parents choose for their children as well as use them within my own setting. I think I may buy more than I sell!! If I can help you choose a book please don’t hesitate to contact me through my website

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