The Humber Mouth
Hull Literature
Festival 2003

{ Hull Literature Festival 2003 6th - 16th November 2003
 the humber mouth }

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Festival Critic

{ Festival Critic: Steven Hall }

Renegade Soundwave

Writers Day

Ibsen vs. Strindberg

Jeremy Hardy vs the Israeli Army

An Audience with Joan Bakewell

Woza Albert!


Pooh Bear Reading Workshop

Readers Day

Theatre Test Tube

Pooh Bear Reading Workshop

On Thursday morning I was sitting on a tiny chair at a tiny table in the children�s section of Hull Central Library, learning how to help children develop their reading skills and how to make reading fun.

As a city, I think we�re lucky to have the literary big names and top-end art and theatre the Humber Mouth has provided for us this year, but I also think we�re lucky to have events and workshops like this - it�s so important that children grow up loving books and enjoying the act of reading, and it�s so easy for us as adults to forget what a huge and confusing task learning to read really is.

Aimed at parents and carers, the workshop I attended was one of a number being run by the Pooh Bear Reading Assistance Society in various Hull libraries throughout the Humber Mouth festival.

We did a lot of exercises � we looked at how to identify various types of children�s books by their covers, at how some children�s books are structured with repetitions and rhymes to help young readers predict the story and learn to identify the repeating words and phrases on the page. We looked at the role of pictures and how they can be used to engage a child with the story and with the corresponding text.

We were shown how to help children read words � how to break down words phonetically, into sounds, and how children begin to identify words from their shapes on the page.

We also read through a children�s book, doing actions for the various types of animal in the story. I wasn�t good at this � I kept getting �cat� wrong. But that was my fault, not theirs.

One and a half hours later, I came away from the workshop with great admiration and respect for the Pooh Bear Reading Assistance Society and for the great deal of good work they do in the city. They are involved in everything from training volunteers to go into schools and homes to help children with their reading, to promoting mentoring schemes where young children help even younger children to get to grips with the printed page, to helping adults help their children discover the pleasures of reading and books.

I�ve included the Pooh Bear Reading Assistance Society�s website address and phone number at the end of this review, so if you�re interested in knowing more about the work they do, you can give them a click or a call.

I hope they go from strength to strength.

Pooh Bear Reading Assistance Society
Website -
Tel - 01482 224333

Thursday 13th November
Pooh Bear Reading Workshop
Central Library

General Enquiries:
City Information Service
at Hull Central Library
Tel: 01482 223344
E-mail: [email protected]