With that in mind, we are seeking to reach out to all those in England (and elsewhere) who find this celebration an excellent excuse (as if they needed one) to settle down with a good fact-rich book on something they really are curious about.[/caption]
I’m sure that you’ve noticed that virtually all of our books in the Wondrously Infinite Global Library are non-fiction.
THAT is not an accident. When we conceived of this library, we knew that our books would be crossing political borders and into new cultural and language communities. Our books are designed for those new to reading, so we need for them to be relevant to children no matter where they are. That means that stories of life in the US just might not cut the mustard..or the curry…or the Teriyaki for that matter.
Hence, by focusing on books that are basically TRUE regardless of where children live or come from or what language they speak, we can offer access to abundant, RELEVANT book with which children motivated by their own curiosity can productively engage in the pursuit of their own interests.
Of course the smoothest path to teaching anybody anything is to make sure that they really WANT TO KNOW about the “anything.” Fiction, for all its fabulous potential, isn’t about that. In fact part of the joy of reading fiction is that you have no idea (absent an elaborate recommendation from a friend) what the story will be about. … Even if you DO have a recommendation, the story FOR YOU may hold quite a different appeal than for the next person.
But for non-fiction, the recommendation (or appeal of the book cover) will only “work” if the potential reader has some personal interest or curiosity about the topic of the book. A person living in a place without bicycles won’t be much compelled by a book detailing the maintenance of bicycles.
Children, who are almost universally fascinated with the BIGGEST and smallest and F A S T E S T and STRONGEST, can nearly always find something to enjoy in our library. However, sometimes curiosity must be “piqued” by an expert teacher or excellent parent. Children may not automatically know that their personal interests and curiosities are critical to propelling them into a life of joyful readership.
So, Happy Non-Fiction Day, England. Come and paw through our pile of books (with our strange American spellings) and find something you like. … And Happy Reading EVERYONE in the Wondrously Infinite Global Library!