To read to our children and to understand and engage with what is written can sometimes be taken for granted and with that in mind children of all ages from and their families have collaborated to create a story about a boy who lives in The Mystical Woodland. The story was brought to life with illustrations inspired by the children’s artwork as they interpreted the story. The book has been translated into 12 languages for the parents and children from the community to enjoy. They include Arabic, Chinese, French, Hindi, Italian, Polish, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Somali, Spanish and Urdu.
Many of the younger children involved in the Mystical Woodland book project are from non-English speaking families, and we wanted to make the book accessible to all parents and children in the school and beyond. The school holds a weekly ESL class for parents and we presented the idea to them to translate the book into their own community languages so that they can read the story with their children at home.
Some parents are in the process of learning written and spoken English, the challenge therefore was to develop their understanding of the story. Children acted out the series of events in the book working closely with the ESL co-ordinator translating unfamiliar words as we went along. The parents worked in small groups pooling their knowledge, skills and command of English to translate the story page by page. Once the translations were complete we invited their children to come and listen to the story in their own community language to see if it was understood. Parents read proudly, taking the art of storytelling to a much deeper, personal level for the children to enjoy.
You can download the story for free by visiting this link: