Sharing Early Literacy Learning Journeys

We had a Book Fair at school all this week. I love Book Fairs – they give parents an opportunity to preview and buy books for their children. On Monday my Year Ones went to the library for a ‘book look’ at the wares available. The children wrote two items on their ‘wish list’ papers and later took them home – with the understanding that there were no guarantees parents would buy the items. After school, some parents and children went to the Book Fair to browse and buy. 

Next morning several children happily showed us their purchases. Others talked about possible/probable purchases.  Both interest and excitement were high so, going with the flow, I suggested we make a graph to find out what sorts of books and things the children liked at the Book Fair.  I hasten to add that the graph was meaningful, but not beautiful!

What book or thing did you like at the Book Fair?

Class Book Fair graph: What book or thing do you like at the Book Fair?

What did we find out?
13 children liked ‘things’
12 children liked books

The details were interesting…

  • 9 children liked rubbers/erasers
  • 2 children liked pointing ‘hands’
  • 2 children liked ‘ice-cream’ pens
  • 5 children liked chapter books
  • 3 children liked Pokémon books (mixture of pictures, stories, information)
  • 2 children liked picture books, Purplicious
  • 1 child liked a non-fiction book , Lizards
  • 1 child liked, Lockers of Secrets (mixture of pictures, information, etc)

Surprise!
I was surprised at the results with just over half the children saying they liked ‘things’ or novelties over books – from a Book Fair.

I wondered why. Was it because:

  • ‘things’ were cheaper at $1, $2, $3, $4
  • picture books were $14, $16 or more
  • chapter books were $10 and above
  • some children were given money to buy ‘something’ – not necessarily a book
  • Book Fairs have changed by adding appealing novelty items to their wares
  • times, children and children’s interests have changed
  • other reasons?

Happy Ending
Whatever the explanation, the children’s love of books shone through at the end of the day. Yalanda couldn’t wait to show me her new  picture book, Purplicious (V. Kann, E. Kann). Capitalising on the moment, I read the book to the class and Yalanda drew about the story. I love her artwork – her characters are expressive and you almost see them move. 

Yalana’s drawing of her new book, ‘Purplicious’.

 Please leave comments

Does your school have Book Fairs?

What do you think about the results from this graph?

Should Book Fairs just sell books?

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