My nine year old started Grade 4 this year. He is NOT a reluctant reader. Not any more. However, it took a few years for him to finally discover the magical worlds that books can transport him into.
It’s not that he has trouble reading. Not at all. He breezed through all the readers in prep and 1st grade, but he (and I!) found them excruciatingly boring. He was drawn to non-fiction books, about bears and tractors, but there weren’t that many of them about.
I began buying him non-fiction books for home and these held his attention for far longer than any stories. Until we discovered Zac Power and Beast Quest. By then he was well on his way to a healthy book addiction. Right now he dips in and out of his non-fiction books, as well as devouring the Narnia set.
When I went to an open morning in his school at the beginning of Grade 3, I was surprised to discover several copies of the Guinness World Records among the books for “quiet reading”, which all grades do in the morning. I was also surprised by how popular these were, as the kids ran to the reading boxes and grabbed these first.
Is it any wonder though?
- They are big, shiny and sparkly;
- they are filled with full colour, attention-grabbing photographs;
- each record is presented as a small snippet of information taking a few seconds to absorb and move on;
- kids find the records fascinating!
You would not believe the excitement in my son’s eyes when I showed him a copy of the Guinness World Records 2012, which arrived last year for me to review. He was beside himself with joy knowing he had one of his very own, and he had it before anyone else! He was also excited when I gave him a job – to find the most interesting records for me to include in this post.
Here are just a few of them:
“Largest Galaxy – Andromeda is the largest galaxy in the “Local Group”, the cluster that includes Earth’s own galaxy, the Milky Way.” (Scientific much, my boy?)
“Most Popular Sat-Nav Voice – According to TomTom, the market-leading manufacturer of car satellite navigation systems, Homer Simpson, voiced by US actor, Dan Castellaneta, has been downloaded a record 128,500 times since 2009.” (He said he liked this one because he likes Homer.)
“Largest Game of Leapfrog – 1,348 students and visitors to the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral (A&P) Show in Christchurch, New Zealand.” (That sounds like a fun day!)
“Oldest Pre-Columbian Calendar Still in Use – Sacred round Mesoamerican calendars – that is, those devised by the Pre-Columbian cultures of present-day Mexico and Central America – continue to to be used in one form or another to the present day, having passed from the Olmecs (1500-400 BC) to the Maya (up to AD 900) and then to the Aztecs (up to the 1500s).” (I wonder if he knows that the Mayan calendar ends in 2012?)
“Oldest Leather Shoe – In 2008, archaeologists found a 5,500-year-old leather shoe in the Areni-1 cave in the south-eastern Vayotoz Dzor province in Armenia.” (So we can blame the Armenians for our out-of-control shoe habits?)
I would highly recommend Guinness World Records for all kids. Not just for reluctant readers, but all kids interested in learning about the world, learning facts, learning curiosities. It will fill their thirst for knowledge and lead them into interests they perhaps didn’t know they had.
I do think, however, that it is an excellent tool for luring those reluctant readers into the world of books, because of those brilliant pictures, the bite-sized bits of text and the huge variety of topics, that I reckon will appeal to just about anyone.
You can purchase the Guinness World Records 2012 here, or to win your very own copy fill out the form below.
The (really) fine print:
- Only Australian Residents are eligible to enter.
- For entries to be eligible, contestants must complete the entry form. Incomplete entries, or answers exceeding 25 words, will be deemed invalid.
- The most interesting/creative complete entry will win one copy of Guinness World Records 2012v. Judge’s decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into.
- Entries close midnight, 17 February 2012, and will be drawn on 18 February 2012. The winner(s) will be notified by email, and posted to www.ablogofherown.com.
- Prizes are not transferable, changeable or redeemable for cash.
- Employees and their immediate families of the Promoter, are ineligible to enter.
- Entrants’ personal information is collected in order to conduct the promotion. Personal information will be kept confidential and not passed onto third parties.
- The Promoter is Dorothy Krajewski of SingularInsanity.com. Contact: [email protected]
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