What would the world look like in 2040? Would it be buzzing with gen alpha’s who are subsidiaries of the present Gen Zs?
Would the generation be worse off or better off than their predecessors? What exactly makes up a buoyant and economic generation?
Would we have a need to even push the phrase “soro soke” with the incoming generation? Would there be a drag between the past generation and the incoming ones like we have in our present world?
The truth is a day-old baby, would be 18 years of age in 2040. An age where they’re considered legal and able to take decisions in many climes.
So, what constitutes the formative stages of a child’s life?
Hundreds of things. From parental guidance, to education, to exposure, to books. Books are a primary part of growth and development. As cliché as it might sound, the saying “readers are leaders”, still comes in handy these days.
Barack Obama is a clear indication of that. Whatever your opinion on the past president may be, you could never take away the place of books in his life: personal and political.
What books should your child be reading though? Are all genres applicable for reading in kids? Let’s run through a few with credible examples.
As a fiction lover myself, I may be a bit biased towards the place of fiction in the growth and development of a child.
Fiction does help sharpen up a child’s imaginative skills. It helps stimulate the emotions of children and build emotional intelligence.
Some popular fiction writers for children include
- Enid Blyton (the famous five)
- Roald Dahl (Charlie and the chocolate factory)
- Kate DiCamillo (the miraculous tale journey of Edward Tulane)
- Lewis Carroll (Alice in wonderland) and of course
- Chris Van Allsburg (Jumanji).
This is to mention a few authors who help to shape the fun, adventurous and imaginative stages of a kids life. What makes fiction so fantastic is how it can be made into motion picture to further stimulate the mind.
There’s really nothing as beautiful as fairytales or folklores. These stories make up a lot of the beliefs of kids and are passed down from generation to generation. Through cultures and the tides of time. The amazing thing about folklore is, they can be started by anyone and put into writing by anyone. Folklores differ in cultures but have also been known to transcend through cultures.
In Nigeria, the most popular folklores Centre around the tortoise who is believed to be a cunning animal, the lion; the king of the jungle and the snail who is the slowest animal. Sometimes the dog and man are also weaved into folklores.
The beauty of folklores is, they stimulate the inquisitive nature of kids. There are endless strings of questions to be asked and answered at the end of a folklore.
Other existing folklores include Jack and the beanstalk (a fantastic one that even I read repeatedly as a kid), the seven ravens, the frog king, the girl without hands, the infamous tooth fairy as well as the princess and the frog.
Who doesn’t love a good concise poem when they see it?
I for one still relish in the beauty and joy I got from poems and rhymes as a kid. Poetry puts kids in a happy mood. Beyond the “aww moment” of it, it helps them build communication through words.
The good thing is poems aren’t always mushy. Some of my favorites poems/ rhymes are twinkle twinkle little star, jack and jill went up the hill, humpty dumpty, auld lang syne, hickory dickory dock. Just writing them out has me doing a mental backflip. Want kids with sharp minds who are equally affectionate and can put smiles on anyone’s face? Then think of poetry.
While this may be most useful in the very early stages of a child’s life, they also help on days when words are not considered necessary.
It’s like when adults need comfort and reach for their photo albums or look through their gallery to find comfort from memories. Children get comfort from picture books.
Books represent opportunities for them, even better when they can visualize the aesthetic environment without having to conjure up the images on their own.
Here are a couple of popular picture books:
- Chicka chicka boom boom
- Brown bear brown bear
- What do you see?
- The cat in the hat
- the Lion and the mouse
- Who will bell the cat?
- What the ladybird heard.
These books still have me dreamy eyed, imagine what it would do to kids.
Now to the serious business.
As sad as it might be, kids do not stay kids forever. Also, as pleasant as it is to dwell in the world of the unreal and imagined, reality does not go easy on people even if they’re kids. For this reason, nonfiction books are important to teach and to take out lessons.
Nonfiction books have a subcategory of their own. It could be biographies, self help books, finance books etc.
Some top nonfiction books across the globe are
- Dream big little one
- Counting with Frida
- Hidden figures
- The girl who thought in pictures
- How to solve a problem.
Nonfiction books are an important part of growing up, they help kids understand that they are not alone, others have lived through similar situations. They also teach kids that they do not have to experience something to learn, they could learn through the lives of others. I recently started reading nonfiction and I wished I had started as a kid. So, it is an absolute yes to nonfiction books for kids.
To be honest, this is not an official genre, but then… who doesn’t love Disney books. One lesson Disney teaches us though is, nothing is impossible.
I mean trading your superpower for legs, like little mermaid, finding your lover with one leg of shoe that probably everyone her age would fit into, like Cinderella, or living with seven dwarfs you know nothing about, like snow white.
The possibilities are endless. Disney simply says to us “do not think too much about the details, just dream”. Kids do need to dream, so I recommend any Disney book for them.
Before you go though, remember lurking inside everyone of us is a kid that wants to explore, so allow your inner child the fun of experiencing these genres.
I do believe we can envisage what the world would look like in 2040, if we have kids who go about life with books as a steady companion.
Until next time,