"A Summer’s Tale, The Peacock Who Wanted to Fly Like an Eagle" | Mama Suranya Books: Illustrations and Learning
Mama Suranya’s children’s books provide a conducive bedrock of learning to young readers, with the perfect balance of colourful illustrations and interactive narration, discusses Uma Nair.
Every year thousands of children’s picture books are published in the country. Children’s corners in bookshops offer a bewildering choice of new and old favourites, illustrated by some of the best artists working in India today.
Mama Suranya Books are a delight. Children will have many opportunities to enjoy these picture books; there is no reason why young children who want to listen to a story should not enjoy these, too.
Telling stories to children from books with illustrations are numberless. It aids visual memory and attracts from the very first introduction to listening to English, children can also enjoy the beauty of these specially illustrated picture books.
A Summer’s Tale is a delightful tale for young learners – the richly detailed drawings will encourage them to pick up not just the short text or words of the picture book, but they will also be enchanted by the images that bring the pages alive.
Children love listening to the same story too – the simplicity of the narrative with the dialogues makes it similar to a one-on-one conversation. The benefits of listening to a story read by an adult/young reader to the child results in inspiring children of early ages to learn to talk in a narrative style.
The Peacock Who Wanted to Fly Like an Eagle is another beautiful story, it is like a story of an everyday experience, it not only defines both eagles and peacocks but also ends up expressing their ideas, hopes and emotions in language as well as in drawing and imaginative play.
Many children are already used to listening to stories and gaining information from television or films in various languages. But the beauty of these two books is the level of interaction that can be both enjoyed and shared. It is a proven point that most children, if guided by parents or elders siblings, soon work out a method of transferring their individual decoding skills to derive meaning from well-illustrated books in English.
The magic of a well-illustrated picture book is not only about picking up the English language, it is also about providing children a wider window to the world, guided by the accuracy of language and the style of a simple straightforward narrative. Both parents as well as schools can build child interactions by sharing these well-illustrated books; it gives children ample additional opportunities to develop holistically at their own speed and levels. As parents narrate and share more and more such books with children, their self-confidence develops and they also understand the truth of stories that have a familiar resonance and ring.
Books like these can provide parents and children with an obvious reason for switching from their vernacular languages to clear and accurately spoken English. The best thing about these books is the easy English that it offers to parents who lack the confidence in English and can find that the fixed texts of these books as well as the illustrations to be a useful prop. Other than providing texts to read and share, such picture books can be the basis for academic as well as cultural interactions, which parents can adjust to their child’s developing needs, interests and attainments.
Sharing such books with stories in a home or school or community or even library is an additional English learning experience that will bond families and help children realise that spoken English is always fun.
Many families enjoy slipping English phrases and constructions picked up from books which they can effortlessly weave into everyday home and school language conversations. This is the objective of these books — to familiarise and facilitate reading and learning.