The short story of the long books

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Story File
9

Values

To introduce reading

Main Lesson

The love for books and reading should be introduced gradually, respecting children’s age and stage of development.

Setting

Any modern bookshop or library

Characters

Books for adults and books for children

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The short story of the long books

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Cuento para saber apreciar la lectura desde pequeños

The baby books were sad. This time the big and famous books hadn’t just laughed at them, they had thrown them out.

“You can hardly call yourselves books. You barely have any writing and are just all pictures”, said one book that had lots and lots of pages written in tiny letters.

“We won’t let them put you next to us on the library shelf. You’re not real books!”, said another, very serious and fancy book.

The poor baby books: they were not even allowed a little corner in bookshops or libraries. They ended up piled up in attics and warehouses.

The big books were so happy. Only intelligent people and adults came into bookshops now given that there was nothing interesting for naughty children. The children stayed at the entrance, so the books were no longer scared that they would be manhandled or that their pages would be torn out and dirtied.

Years passed and all those children who hadn’t visited a library became adults.

“Now they can come in and meet us and admire our wisdom”, thought the big books.

But no. The adults who had grown up without baby books had no interest in the big books. They were too long! How were they going to read so many pages all at once, if they had never read anything?

The big books were desperate. Bookshops were closing down, libraries looked derelict. Nobody was reading! They all arranged a meeting, they read and read millions of their own pages and discovered that there was only one solution: they had to say sorry to the baby books and get them to come back and put them on the best shelves.

That’s how they managed to save themselves, by making children read little by little, so that they would grow up to be adults who loved big books. And so that nobody would forget what almost happened, they wrote the story in this baby book, which they give to everybody who thinks that books with few words and loads of pictures aren’t real books.

Translated by Jessica Wood, Manchester Metropolitan University


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