"After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world."

Feb 2015
- Philip Pulman

Saturday 31 January to Saturday 7 February is National Storytelling Week. In honour of one of the oldest forms of entertainment, why not take this opportunity to share a favourite story with your family?

At Kumon we believe it is important to read every day, and that everyone should benefit from a lifelong love of reading, for both education and enjoyment.

We are surrounded by stories in our day to day lives. From TV adverts to soap operas, to magazine articles, to feature films, the most memorable of stories are the ones which capture our imagination. Most of us have fond memories of being read to as a child because we were transformed from our world and catapulted into another.

So this week, why not take the opportunity to gather as a family and share a story? Perhaps each member of the family could pick a favourite, or pick a theme. Here are a few suggestions from the Kumon Recommended Reading List to get you started:

Why not start with a funny story to make the family laugh? How about an extract from James and the Giant Peach: "My dear young fellow,' the Old-Green-Grasshopper said gently, 'there are a whole lot of things in this world of ours you haven't started wondering about yet."

Or our first introduction to the Oompa-Loompas in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Maybe you are looking for something weird and wonderful. What about the moment Lucy discovers the door at the back of the wardrobe and enters Narnia: "She did not shut it properly because she knew that it is very silly to shut oneself into a wardrobe, even if it is not a magic one."

Or Harry Potter's first journey to Hogwarts and his discovery of platform 9 ¾.

Perhaps your family would prefer something a little more frightening; what is more scary than the horrifying 'Gruffalo'? "He has terrible tusks, and terrible claws, and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws."

Or the moment Bilbo Baggins finds himself face to face with the dragon Smaug? What about some fun poetry such as one of T.S. Eliot's odes to all things feline in his Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats? "Before a Cat will condescend
To treat you as a trusted friend,
Some little token of esteem
Is needed, like a dish of cream"

We all love hearing a good story, whether it is sharing an experience from your past, or hearing about a friends' weekend. A well-told story absorbs us and takes us on a journey. What better excuse to get together with your family and have some fun, than by sharing a story this week.