Gruffalo author advises parents to relax

New Children’s laureate Julia Donaldson says pushy parents may take the fun out of reading for children

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The Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson, who is the Children’s Laureate, has warned parents that being too pushy could put their children off reading.

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“I don’t believe you should push your children too hard. They are so sensitive,” Julia said. “If they’re not ready to read, it’s more likely they will be worse off.

“I really find pushy parents a pain. I have met a lot in my time and while it’s important to read, it should be enjoyable. It should be done for pleasure.”

The author has also spoken out about how children will be affected by the spending cuts on public libraries, as the children’s section is where most books are borrowed from.

“I feel very strongly that libraries are important for children,” Julia explained. “They are fantastic places where you can discover what you like to read, and I’m really worried about having a less bookish society.”

Julia’s not the only one reminding parents to help their children see reading as a pleasure not a chore. “We can become so paranoid about them being able to read, that we sometimes forget they have to want to in the first place,” added Julia Douetil, co-ordinator for reading recovery at the University of London’s Institute of Education.

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