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Cressida Cowell was recently announced as the new Children’s Laureate.  Her books include How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once.  She has a ten-point plan for her two-year tenure:

  1. Read for the joy of it
  2. Access NEW books in schools, libraries and bookshops
  3. Have advice from a trained librarian or bookseller
  4. Own their OWN book
  5. See themselves reflected in a book
  6. Be read aloud to
  7. Put a book down if they’re not enjoying it
  8. Be creative for at least 15 minutes a week
  9. See an author event at least ONCE
  10. Have a planet to read on.

This is where parents can be part of this plan, by doing everything possible to help their own family to tick as many of these boxes as possible.


When did you last take your child to a bookshop or a library?  Everything may be on Kindle these days, but there’s nothing like putting a real book in their hands.

Find out when your local library is holding an author event and take your kids along.  Authors are usually good speakers – after all they’re expert storytellers.

Find books your kids LOVE!  If they’re not ready or don’t like reading long narrative, pick up a couple of books with poems – like Dr Seuss or Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes.

Creative Writing

How about encouraging your kids to write their own poems or stories.  Don’t worry too much about spelling, grammar and the correct punctuation, it’s all about creativity.  The authors of tomorrow are those who discover the joy of telling a story, or creating a verse that has a satisfying rhythm, early in life.

Set a family challenge to each write a poem about the events of the past week or a particular day.  There’s nothing wrong with everyone experiencing a little creative juice!

Teach your child how to use a dictionary and a Thesaurus to help with their creativity and find those words that they have not yet got to grips with.

Word Games

Do you remember playing the game of Consequences, when you were a child?  This is where a story is created by a group of people.  This could be something you could do as a family, with one person starting a story and the next person picking it up and continuing it.  Stories don’t have to be long and you could use a smartphone to record the story to share with others if you want.  This is an excellent way to pass a long car journey.

Can you help Cressida Cowell to achieve her 10-point plan?