KUCHING: Parents and teachers should inculcate the reading habit in children as early as possible, Assistant Minister in the Chief Ministers Department Fatimah Abdullah said.
She said young children who could not read yet could be introduced to the joy of books through storytelling and play-acting.
Once they have learned to read, they can start with picture books and simple fairytales before moving on to adventure, mystery or romance according to their interest, and finally, to more serious reading material, she said.
She added that plans to get children to read should be complemented by efforts to make books widely available.
From stirring childrens interest and teaching them to read to providing reading materials and good role models, there must be a whole chain of activity if we are to create a reading society, Fatimah said at the launch of two books jointly published by Sarawak NGO Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) and Petronas at the State Library here.
The books, Shaping a Culture of Thinkers and Sparkles of Growing Minds, are compilations of winning entries in the Azam-Petronas best development feature awards and short story writing competition in 2001, 2002 and 2004.
Azam chief executive Datuk Aloysius Dris said the competition aimed to cultivate interest in reading and writing stories about Sarawak.
The two publications are part of our efforts to document the ideas, opinions, hopes and aspirations demonstrated through writing, he said.
The books are priced at RM12 each but students can get them for RM10.
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