“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents” – Emilie Buchwald.
Do you want your child to love to read? Are you looking for resources to inspire your children a love for books? Look no further! Today we interview Maya, founder of MaiStoryBook.
Maya is an artist and elementary teacher-to-be-in training who is truly passionate about early education. Her Vietnamese name s Mai-and thus the inspiration for her trademark: MaiStoryBook. The main goal of MaiStoryBook is to “spotlight children’s illustrated books and provide resources for parents and teachers to inspire children a curiosity for the world of reading- all through a series of MaiStory Books“.
Maya believes that the “best way to get children reading is to get them excited about books” and that the “best thing to do is to start them young. Reading aloud to children is not only a great source of bonding but is also a chance to teach and expose children to new vocabulary and encourage them to develop their own creative thinking skills and imagination.”
So, how should we read to our children? Maya recommends using an interactive approach: shared reading. Shared-reading “occurs when children join in or share the reading of a book or other text while guided and supported by an adult or another experienced reader. The experienced reader explicitly models the skills of proficient readers, including reading with fluency and expression, and engages the child in dialogue throughout the book”.
Maya’s project is truly amazing! I’ve found MaiStoryBook to be so inspiring! Every week she posts a new book in her Library Collection providing a brief synopsis and review of the book, a vocabulary list from the book (with easy to learn definitions), 2 major themes from the story to discuss, an original craft activity inspired by the story and a Youtube video guided shared-reading read aloud.
Also, I really recommend that you read her extraordinary blog as she shares great information and tips for creating “lifetime” readers, features the work of great writers and illustrators and presents themed book collections. Her blog is also a great place to discover up-and-coming authors and illustrators, as Maya highlights treasures from independent publishing houses and self-publishers.
World Kids: What was your favorite childhood book?
Maya: There were so many favorites, it’s hard to choose! I’ll have to name at least two that are still two of my favorites today! One of my favorites was, “Mama, Do You Love Me?” by Barbara M. Joosse and Illustrated by Barbara Lavallee. It’s about a little girl testing the limits of her mother’s love, only to find that a mother’s love is limitless and unconditional. No matter what, mama loves you!
Another favorite was Maya and The Town that Loved a Tree by Kiki & Kathryn Shaw and illustrated by Kiki. First, this book bears my namesake, so that was appealing to me as a child. Second, this is a beautiful story about the environment and the power of trees and nature to bring people happiness and joy, and the importance of protecting our trees.
You can actually find a whole collection of 17 favorite books from my childhood bookshelf, on my blog, MaiStoryBook.
WK: Who is your favorite children’s book illustrator? And author?
Maya: My favorite children’s book illustrator at the moment is Oliver Jeffers. He just came out with a beautiful new book: “Here We Are.” I actually filmed an interactive read-aloud of the book that is up on my youtube channel, MaiStoryBook. Check it out to view and listen to this inspirational and breathtaking story!
There’s also a super cute craft on my blog that goes along with it. Oliver Jeffers is an incredible author with a knack for imaginative storytelling, and he creates gorgeous illustrations.
Here’s a quick synopsis of his book: This book gives a breath-taking glimpse into the secrets of our universe~ from the deep depths of our seas, to the vast range of terrains, to the celestial heavens and bodies in the sky, prepare to discover the wonders of our world with your little ones. This guide to life on Earth simplifies the complexity of life here on this planet, providing insights on everything from humanity and the creatures that live here, to the way time warps~ moving slowly and peacefully, or rushing and passing us bygone before we know it. However, though the world may seem infinite, and grander than our wildest dreams, never forget, *You are never alone here on Earth* (There are 7+ billion people ~ and despite our differences, we are all in this together)
Other illustrators and authors, I love Eric Carle, Dan Santat and Loren Long:
WK: Where do you live? What would you recommend for international families visiting your city?
Maya: I live in sunny Oceanside, California! It is a cute coastal beach town, so perfect for a beach vacation getaway! Coast Highway stretches along the coast and is perfect for bike riding. Many shops offer bike rentals. Oceanside also has one of the longest piers. The pier is in the downtown area near a movie theater. There are also tons of trendy shops, boutiques, bakeries, and coffee shops along the coast.
Some delicious eateries:
- Urge-large gastropub with good appetizers and delicious main dishes.
- 608 – Asian fusion style tapas
- Beachbreak Cafe: famous for delicious coffeecake and yummy egg dishes! Super popular brunch location with great portion sizes!
- Panca Peruvian: Peruvian food with delicious rotisserie chicken!
- Revolution roasters: delicious pastries and cute atmosphere
- My favorite bakery: Petite Madeline Bakery – delicious pastries and brunch/lunch foods!
Some great activities for families would be: Bike rentals down by the pier, Vital (a new indoor rock climbing center), kayaking, paddle boating, and boat rentals down by the harbor and beach days (perfect for boogie bonding and surfing!)
Thank you very much, Maya! It has been a great honor to feature your work on World Kids!