Aleyideino’s Books On Tortoise To Stimulate Youngsters To Read

Prof. Ropo Sekoni; the author, Mrs. Olufunke Aleyideino and Sekoni’s wife Banke displayings copies of the books… in Lagos

Prof. Ropo Sekoni; the author, Mrs. Olufunke Aleyideino and Sekoni’s wife Banke displayings copies of the books… in Lagos

In a bid to revive the reading culture in the country, especially among the younger generation, Mrs. Olufunke Aleyideino has written three storybooks to stimulate children and make reading more interesting. The launching of Tortoise the Tortoise, David and Goliath and Tortoise the Wise took place over the weekend at Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, Ikeja G.R.A, and had many children and parents in attendance.

Having taught for years, Aleyideino said the idea behind the books was to make children read for pleasure rather than just to pass examinations. She said, “Most people who read only read to pass examinations, but what we intend to achieve with these books is to keep the readers entertained, as they read for pleasure”.

She also urged parents to encourage their children to read by buying books for them as presents “rather than taking them to the cinemas or buying toy cars and guns for them with huge sums of money,” she said. She further advised parents to censor the programmes their children watch on television. According to Aleyideino, “A reader is a leader, and the more children read the more knowledgeable they become. The style of the books ensure that ordinary stories told in oral traditions are made very interesting, and these are oral traditional stories, folklore stories and even bible stories that people are familiar with”.

Mr. Kunle Ajibade advised the children to read between 500 to 1000 books before they get to secondary school, adding, “In order to do that you must watch less television, play less computer games, because children that read are most likely bright”. Ajibade stressed that reading could also keep children occupied and entertained. He said the books are not just Yoruba stories, as tortoise stories vary from one tradition to another and added, “One of the lessons from the tortoise story is that children should obey their elders, and lessons learnt from books are learnt for life”.

Prof. Ropo Sekoni said the importance of the role parents have to play in reviving and sustaining the reading culture could not be over-emphasized. According to him, parents stand to benefit a lot from reading these stories to their children, as “They will bring them closer; most of the of the stories reflect life, and thereby will prepare the children for life, especially to know how to talk, conduct and compose themselves, and the stories will provide a good foundation for learning”.

Sekoni also spoke on the value of children’s literature, as a source of knowledge. One of the highlights of the event was a drama presentation by Saint Savings drama group of Saint Stephen’s Anglican Church, Igbobi. The group dramatised the story of David and Goliath and how David defeated Goliath. While speaking on the lessons from the play, Ehighibe Kelechi, who played Goliath said, “It is not by size or strength but by the grace of God upon us. Even as children, we should stand up to challenges and trust God to see us through”.

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