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kids books

By Amy Fendley Patricia Polacco, Dr. Seuss and Captain Underpants.

By Amy Fendley Patricia Polacco, Dr. Seuss and Captain Underpants. The Whistler Public Library and the Myrtle Philip Community School library, are hosting a presentation by Phyllis Simon, who will speak to parents and teachers about the importance of children’s literacy skills. Simon, a former teacher-librarian, and now the owner of Vancouver Kidsbooks, spends a lot of her time travelling throughout the Lower Mainland and various places in B.C., promoting new books and their authors. Her presentation, entitled Books That Make the Difference, introduces parents and educators to today’s largely unknown world of children’s authors and illustrators. "Many parents stick to the old classics, the old stand-bys, but they’re not privy to today’s selections," said Simon. "My goal is to emphasize the fact that today’s children’s books are as interesting, exciting, profound, entertaining and funny as many adult books. "People don’t know these books, they know Dr. Seuss. The authors are well known in the field, but on a larger scale, they’re unknown." Trying to make kids readers and stressing the importance of reading to kids is a task which Simon says could be simplified by parents reading to their children at an early age, to get them turned on to books. Simon encourages selecting books on a wide range of topics in order to educate, culture, motivate and inspire young readers. "The value of good old fashioned reading is right up there, front row centre of the presentation," exclaims Simon. Librarian Joan Richoz of the Whistler Public Library, says there is a high literacy rate among children in Whistler, but that many parents may hesitate reading to their kids when they begin to show disinterest. "From the public library point of view, there is a fairly high literacy rate among kids here," she says. "Parents are aware when they have a reluctant reader. Phyllis has some great suggestions on how to get them to read and how to keep them reading." Simon will preview newly released Canadian children’s picture books and fiction, including the latest Red Cedar Award winners, for children at different reading levels. Books That Make a Difference will be held in the Alex Philip Lounge of the Myrtle Philip Community Centre, Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.