‘Book Magic’ is an interagency project about encouraging and promoting the joy of reading.
This project was developed under the direction of the Active and Healthy Early Years Subgroup of Mayo Children and Young People’s Services Committee (CYPSC) in 2019 with the aim of supporting more parents in County Mayo to read
to their children.
The books deal with a range of topics focusing on emotional wellbeing, all in the form of easy-to-read stories with eye-catching illustrations.
Funded by the Dormant Accounts Fund, Mayo CYPSC, and Healthy Ireland, The Book Magic Project task a range of family support agencies across Mayo to lead the implementation of this initiative.
The aim of The Book Magic Project is to strengthen the parent-child relationship through a concrete, accessible and warm activity like reading/sharing books, and: “To promote good attachment between parents and young children, and which has long been evident to the frontline workers.” 2
There is a huge mental health/wellbeing aspect to this project – it is a very useful tool in strengthening parent/child bonding. In addition, the books themselves focus largely on topics of emotional wellbeing – so this can be used as a really good way of providing language for children on a range of emotions that they may be struggling with, as well as a mechanism to help them understand and manage these feelings too.
By giving the books directly to families, instead of putting the onus on them to come into libraries or bookshops in search of these books, it was felt the promotion of attachment would be made accessible to all.
Evidence gathered through the evaluation process indicates that the Book Magic Project has ignited increased awareness of the importance of attachment and emotional wellbeing through the use of books as well as supporting literacy and language development.