As the world celebrates World Book and Copyright Day on Saturday, April 23rd, members of the Nuru Education team reflect on what books influenced them as children and why books are important to us all.

What was your favorite book or series when you were a child?

“My favorite storybook growing up was Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. It had me thinking about whether our parents’ decisions would reflect on our lives. The book was an easy read and very interesting. It was almost like a guide on what not to do when you gain power. The book is life changing. After reading it, you might change the way you’ve planned your life in the future.” – George Baridi, Nuru Kenya Education Program Manager

“My favorite set of storybooks in primary school was Tom and Mary stories. I used to get to school early, so I could read the stories as many times as possible.” – Ambrose Maroa, Nuru Kenya Education Training Manager

“Our preschool teacher had a library full of books from the Ladybird series. In the afternoon, during the quiet activities, we would read books individually and she would listen to you read aloud while others would have a nap. I would always start with the Peter and Jane book because it helped me learn several sounds and new words. I also liked the stories and pictures of Peter, Jane and their dog.” – Victoria Tissian, Nuru Kenya Education Isebania Division Program Leader

“When I was young I loved reading storybooks, mostly Tom and Jerry which has many books in the series. It was my favorite storybook because the book was simple with good illustrations that helped me understand it.” – Tinyi Johnson, Nuru Kenya Education Mabera Division Program Leader

Why are books important?

“Books create a new adventure world that does not exist in a child’s mind. They help build the grammar and vocabulary of the children. Most of the best composition writers I have seen from primary through high school spent most of their time reading a variety of storybooks. I remember one student who had read almost all the story books in the KLB series and he was actually the best in composition writing and English grammar as we finished class 8.” – George Nyamweya, Nuru Kenya Leadership Senior Training Manager

“Books create an awareness to the citizens through empowerment on what to do, such as understand rules, regulations and constitutions regarding their rights. Books are also important for preserving and transmitting stories. We all know that storytelling creates a big impact in every culture. Some stories narrated orally are then written and published for the next generation to come.” – George Baridi, Nuru Kenya Education Program Manager

“Books are very essential as they lead to literacy, which involves the development of skills in five key areas: letter knowledge, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Reading books also contributes to the development of one’s competence. For me, reading is complex by its nature as it is a cognitive, social and cultural activity.” – Feven Yimer, Nuru Ethiopia Education Field Manager

“Books are important because they offer you the opportunity to explore the world from the perspective of others and take away key lessons. Beyond learning from my parents and friends, Calvin and Hobbes and Martin the Warrior all played roles in shaping how I approached the world.” – Kevin Nascimento, Nuru Ethiopia Education Program Specialist

“Books are important because they help readers to build their vocabulary and comprehension skills.  The more books a learner reads, the more the learner will become fluent. For more advanced readers, books help one understand their society and even to know character traits of people.” – Tinyi Johnson, Nuru Kenya Education Mabera Division Program Leader