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Giving children access to literature at a young age is extremely important. Both educators and parents should help children develop a love and passion for reading, as it is key in developing emotional intelligence and creativity, as well as personality and social skills. For this post we had a chat with bookstore owner Merche to discuss the value of literature for young people.

Hi there! Thank you very much for your interest in Minimalittle Stores. We would love to know more about your unique bookstore, please tell us how this project came to life.

Tam Tam bookstore was one of the first bookstores in Valencia to specialize in children’s books. I am an avid reader so when I found out the bookstore was for sale, I became excited about continuing such an emblematic business. It’s been almost 6 years now. I absolutely love recommending books to clients and their families.

Why do you think literature is so important for children’s development?

Reading helps creativity and imaginative play. It also helps expand one’s vocabulary. Stories have the power to promote emotional and moral development so it is essential to start reading at a young age.

I´ve heard that children’s literature is experiencing a moment of splendor, is it true?

Nowadays there are endless possibilities when it comes to children’s books. Most of them offer awakening sensations through touch or sounds in order to attract younger kids. Illustration is also key in children’s literature. However, I’m passionate about classic authors and books and believe we should still be referencing these.

In which ways should we encourage children to read? My daughters devour books, we read plenty of them every night, I suppose we have to teach them the pleasure of reading from a very young age.

It’s so easy for kids nowadays to get distracted with all types of media. So definitely yes, it is important to teach them how to enjoy books from a very young age.

What kind of children’s books would you recommend for the little ones? Are you more into classic or modern stories?

I believe a balance between both is the best. I recommend classic authors such as Jean de La Fontaine and Esopo, and amongst modern ones I really enjoy reading Anna Llenas´ illustrated books and Julia Donaldson. What’s most important is for children to find enjoyment in reading.

What kind of attitude should we have when visiting a bookstore with our kids? Should we let them choose what to read?

We should be guiding them in what to read but not force them to read a specific book, we should trust their choices and let them over time discover different styles and authors. That’s the beauty of literature.

Amongst multilingual families, would you say it is convenient to read in different languages from a very young age?

Definitely yes as small kids have the capacity to absorb all these different words and sounds. Reading in different languages might sounds complicated at first but will build strong foundations for their future.

Could you recommend some titles for our readers?

Of course! The list would be endless. Some of my favorites are “Charlie Chick” by Nick Denchfield and “The day the crayons quit”.