Except for a suitcase with books (replaced partly with the library in my tablet) we bring a lot of board games with us on holiday. I take them out of their boxes, pack them into zipped plastic bags and put them into one box. Due to this our baggage doesn't look like we're preparing to move house, and during the holiday nobody can say "I have got nothing to play with".

Board games are a great idea for spending time with family and friends. They teach rivalry and the rules of fair play. The youngest players learn to deal with failure. Some of our games need a table, so they are great when "the children are bored when it's raining". Others don't have a board, so we can play anywhere: on the beach, on a picnic, in the tent.

1. Mushrooming and Chinese Chequers
On the front burner, an absolute classic. Everybody knows Mushrooming. We go around the board collecting small "edible" mushrooms. This game has a big asset: there are two winners: the one who collected the most mushrooms and the one who is first to the finish. I don't need to recommend Chinese Chequers. It could be a boring game because apart from moving the chequers nothing happens. But every time there are a lot of emotions. For the youngest players I recommend two chequers per player. The rules of the game are the same but the children won't be bored.


Recently a book called "Incredible adventures of ten socks (four right ones and six left ones)" by Justyna Bednarek fell into my hands. Its title intrigued me, because like most housewives I suspect my washing machine of devouring our socks. I wonder why I only have one from every pair. It never happens that both socks disappear together. I read this book and, seemingly, everything became clear. Our lost socks start their new life by running away from the laundry basket and bathroom and going through a hole under the washing machine. They are bored, tired, despondent and decide to change something. According to their characters and needs, these socks find their way into a town, a meadow or other places where life opens up new prospects in front of them and moves them along.

The world in the book is a picture of a child's uninhibited imagination. Colourful socks become politicians, movie stars, flowers and brave guardians of the oppressed. The stories are written in a simple way and are aimed at pre-schoolers. We read stories with crime, comedy, action and even elements of horror. Every story raises a different and important question about our surroundings. Children, contrary to appearances, know and understand quite a lot. They watch the world and explain it in their own way. They see the scramble of politicians, the so-called stars of show business; they know that other children are sick, and we teach them how to help.


It is difficult for me to make peace with the idea of children with disease or physical handicaps. Although sometimes they are in books and movies only and I know that it is fiction, I'm aware that for many families it is a painful reality they have to take on every day. I always admire family, doctors, nurses and volunteers working in hospices, who every day come up against the suffering of children. For this reason, books and movies in which children are wronged are difficult for me. If I can, I try to avoid them.

In Anna Sakowicz's first novel "The Dream Thief" there was already the theme of a children's hospice. The huge dose of optimism of the author led me to believe that everything would end well, despite all the misfortune. I trusted, read, and I wasn't disappointed. The end of this book leaves us with hope.

The beginning of the next book "It is possible" blindsided me. How come? It should be "they lived long and happily ever after"! Death in a novel with such a positive title? It turns out that Anna Sakowicz's books are like life. Sometimes it is beautiful, the sun shining in the sky, a lot of money in our pockets and we have a goal to pursue. Sometimes, unfortunately, we are beset with miseries, which more often than not, come in pairs. We need a lot of inner strength to get through it all.

While on annual leave in Kociewie (ethnic region of Gdansk Pomerania in Poland), the main character of "It is possible", Joanna, has a chance to change her life. She meets many different people along the way: some are amazing and friendly, but there are also vicious and envious characters. Just as in the previous book, we read about intrigues and difficulties which the characters run into. These griefs are so realistic that we are easily convinced that we are involved with them. Together with the characters we fight and try not to give up. Nobody said that it would be easy; we don't know what we will meet at the end of our journey and the ending is not always as good as we would like. Whether it actually is possible – as the title suggests ¬¬– and who Joanna can count on, you get to know when you read the book.


Everybody knows the story of a young boy called Mowgli, who was brought up in the jungle by a pack of wolves. For 50 years generations of young people have followed his adventures with bated breath, laughed at the funny Baloo the bear and looked up to the smart teacher Bagheera the panther. Even though we know that nothing wrong could happen, we feel nervous looking at Kaa's clenched snakelike twine, or the exhortations of the monkey King Louis, who at any price wants to make fire. Finally, we cross our fingers for the brave boy fighting with the evil tiger, Shere Khan.

I don't know about you, but I like this story very much. So when I heard that Disney had decided to make a new version of The Jungle Book, I was determined to watch it.

The trailers were inviting, but the movie surpassed all our expectations.

The new version of "The Jungle Book" by Jon Favreau is an exact adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's book. The cartoon from 1967 takes the liberty of leaving out certain understated, dramatic moments, and, as a tale for kids, adds funny characters and adventures. This year's movie amazes us with its realism.

Although it is still a story for children, the message is more "adult". This is not just the adventure of a rowdy boy who comes across some nice animals and some bad animals; it is the story of a child growing up, torn between the worlds of animals and people. Mowgli doesn't feel at home in either place. For the animals he is only a man cub, and he doesn't quite remember people. He learns the jungle's rules, but regardless of his best efforts, his human traits start to dominate. Courage, cleverness and a motiveless heart distinguish him from his playfellows, and the adventures show him that he is a human. Unfortunately, being a human in the jungle is not something to be proud of.


Everybody probably knows that Poles don't read much. Apparently, last year, one in three Poles didn't read any books, and one in five doesn't have any volumes at home. Actually, recently you are more likely to meet someone with a phone than with a book. It is not hard to figure out that students read the most, and I would like to believe that this doesn't come from the necessity of studying and writing term papers. It is significant that children whose parents read to them in their first years often get into books. We couldn't ask a child to read if at home it isn't customary and television programmes are the only source of information and entertainment. I think that, among other things, parents are responsible for their children's attitude to reading and whether they will grow up to treat books as the promise of an amazing adventure or as a duty, or even worse, as something to prop up a wobbly table.


I'm not an expert, but I am a mum, and I can share with you my experience of how my daughter became a bookworm. I'm aware that sometimes neither our efforts nor wishful thinking are sufficient. Our young man doesn't like to read. He likes football, tennis or model making. Well, each kid is different, but it is worth trying.

Let's suppose, however, that we do like to read and our sprog has made friends with books. We have bought, borrowed, read and encouraged, and we see the first tentative results of our efforts. A time will come when letters aren't just magical symbols and our child will read signboards and advertising banners. This is the time when we should encourage his interest in self-reading.

What should we do to make the difficult process of self-reading easier?

© DomowyPatchwork - All Rights Reserved.

mapa strony