As a child myself, I loved books and stories of all kinds, and responded with particular enthusiasm to poetry with a catchy rhythm. As the eldest child in a family of seven, I had an early introduction to sharing my favourite childhood stories and verses with younger children – my siblings – and made the acquaintance of other writers I had not known myself.
Later, I enjoyed reading to my own daughters, and later to assorted nieces and nephews – and then to grandchildren and great- nieces. Sadly, I am no longer able to share my love of these stories and verses with my family, live – two grandchildren are in Johannesburg, South Africa, two others are just outside Zurich,Switzerland, and I am in Surrey, UK.
However, the internet an Youtube mean that I can continue to read and recite for my own grandchildren, disregarding difficulties of both space and time. I can also share these exercises with a wider audience. I welcome children of all ages to “Grampa Bear’s Storytime”.
(The moniker “Grampa Bear” was bestowed on me some years ago by grandson Patrick, after I sent him a teddy bear as a gift. He was then very young, and had never met me in person. His mother explained who I was, by linking me to the bear – I was Grampa, who had sent the bear. So I quickly became “Grampa Bear”, and the name has stuck, now used by both Paddy and his younger sister, Emma).