Ajala Books launch ‘The Canary that couldn’t sing’ and Lonely Fudu

To encourage reading culture among children, Ajala Books, yesterday, launched ‘The Canary that couldn’t sing’ and ‘Fudu the lonely Hedgehog’ in Lekki, Lagos. The books are targeted at children between the ages of four and eight.

The author, Omotayo Oyetayo said the books would educate, enlighten and entertain children, as they contain what is taught in school and at home.

She explained that ‘The Canary that couldn’t sing’ will inspire children to be tenacious and focused, so as to achieve their goals, while ‘Fudu the lonely Hedgehog’ relates to children’s interpersonal skills, as it encourages them to be positive and happy, even when things appear not so good.

She advised parents to inculcate reading habits in their children, as the school cannot do it alone.

She said: “It is important that parents and guardians encourage their children and wards to read, as this will make them intelligent and help them achieve greatness in life.

“We cannot leave it to the teachers alone. We all have roles to play for the good of society. The 21st century children are very smart. They are engaged in so many things; they get stuffs from the computer, television and even from the things they listen to. And we cannot filter the information they take in through all these channels.

“So, it is important to equip them with the right books. The irony of it is that a lot of children like storybooks, even more than their school books. So, we should encourage them and help them pick up the reading culture. In everything I write, I ensure that I include messages that touch the child’s heart, no matter how subtle.”

She also urged government to equip existing libraries in the country and build more.

“Apart from appreciating them for their roles, it is important that government support Nigerian authors. When we tell our stories, we are passing helpful and constructive messages from our perspective. Some schools recommend foreign books for children, but that shouldn’t be. We should have books that are written by Nigerians, as we speak what the children will understand.

“The government should ensure that our books get circulated in the system. The private sector cannot do everything.”

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