DAVE GOODERHAM: George has caught the reading bug

A personal view
A personal view
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In the last few months, I have learned that there is a Shark in the Park, a Goose on the Loose,Harry loves keeping dinosaurs in buckets and, of course, a certain beast thinks a certain mouse would taste good on a slice of bread.

At three years and just short of four months, my son George has developed an insatiable appetite for reading.

So much so, that he is often not satisfied until he is looking at a book while both me and Mrs G are reading a different book at the same time.

He will wake up and instantly clutch 10 books which he expects me to read cover­to­ cover

before work. Bewildering to watch, it is a fantastic state of affairs to be in.

And it gets better, with George now starting to read books himself. Okay, he might not be able to read the words of Fox in the Box, but he tells the story in his own novel way using the pictures in front of him.

It is no coincidence that his confidence has soared of late, no longer causing a screaming scene when we drop him off to Horringer Pre­School (sorry for that folks).

What is equally heartening is that he is not alone. A recently­published study by the National Literacy Trust says that more children are reading outside of the classroom.

True, children would still rather watch TV than have their nose in a book but the study reveals a 28.6 per cent increase in the number of youngsters who read on a daily basis.

More than 32,000 youngsters were surveyed so when they say reading levels have hit a new high, we should listen ­ and embrace.

What is a little more saddening is the fact that a quarter of youngsters polled say their parents do not read to them.

I am not one to preach but I actually think parents are missing out on so much.

I started reading with my oldest son, now seven, when he was cooing in his cot and barely a night now goes by where we don’t tuck up into his bed and one of us reads to the other, ­sometimes taking alternate pages.

Seeing his reading blossom and the standard of books he brings home from school advance is one of my favourite things.

And that’s the thing. Reading with your child really is a two-way street. Seeing them grow in confidence brings a true sense of parenting pride.

It takes little time every night and the bond you get not to mention the afterglow of watching them develop in front of your own eyes should never be underestimated, or ignored.