Today, 8th September, is International Literacy Day, a day observed by UN member states to internationally recognise the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies, and aims to increase literacy around the world.
You can read more about the aims of this international day here on the UNESCO website: http://en.unesco.org/themes/literacy-all/literacy-day.
This year, the focus is on Digital Literacy, and how the changes in technology and the move towards new digital environments is changing the understanding of what literacy is, and how a lack of digital literacy skills could further marginalise those without basic literacy skills.
To mark this day, some of Atwood Tate have thought back to those books which were formative in helping us learn to read initially; books which are often forgotten but are hugely important first steps.
The first books I can remember reading were The Magic Key series, which followed Biff, Chip and Kipper, created by Roderick Hunt and published by Oxford University Press. As part of the National Curriculum, a whole generation must have learnt to read, thanks in part to The Magic Key.
I still remember my parents reading the very first Harry Potter books to me as a child. It really instilled the joys of reading in me from an early age.
Claire Louise Kemp
I don’t remember learning to read, but some of the first books I remember loving were books by Beatrix Potter and the Mr Men books.
I loved the Usborne Book of Wizards and the Usborne Book of Witches. The illustrations by the late Stephen Cartwright take me right back to childhood when I look at them now and I’m so pleased to see that they are still in print, even if it’s in a slightly different format. I also used to spend hours looking through The Usborne First Thousand Words trying to spot the little duck in each picture. My Mum, a German teacher, also bought us a copy of this in German in the hope we’d also become linguists…