Alvin In The Room: Journal

Picture books are good for you!


Picture books are, of course, the books with so many pictures and even without any words. They cover a variety of topics to spark children’s curiosity and imagination, as well as let them learn in a relax way and think more. There are no rules in reading the books.

During my childhood I didn’t read picture books. It seems that teachers and parents in Hong Kong don’t encourage children to read picture books, but require them to read books with many words. Besides, children need to spend much time on examinations. They need to have good academic achievement in order to create their career path.

Is picture book useless? Yes, it doesn’t have any economic values. Yes, it is useless for examination and it can’t help you get better jobs. So, we shouldn’t read it? Beautiful sketches in the picture books are usually worth reading as they can carry a lot of meanings, or other suggestions raised by children when they are reading them and imagining them.

Why should we use our imagination? Why should we think of something even when it is illogical in reality? It’s a gift which can change the world, from impossibility to possibility. With imagination, innovations and inventions greatly improve our lives. Life can be more interesting.

But in the education system of Hong Kong kills children’s imagination and creativity with a series of examinations which only allows the so-called standard answers. They tend to learn from past successful cases since they want to be safe. But this kind of copying usually fails because they don’t address their own problems, don’t ask themselves what they want to be and are not willing to seek their own ways. They think they can prevent all forms of risks but it’s not the case. The Hong Kong’s economy is getting worse, mostly because of no imagination, innovation and creativity.

I can’t tell exactly how reading picture books can bring to everyone, especially in terms of one’s career. But why don’t we give us (or our children) a little bit time, say 30 to 60 minutes a day, to do that to see how we can benefit from the books? Sadly people are now forcing children to spend 100% effort and time on only one thing which is the examination, it’s the greatest gamble as no other possibilities can enter into one’s life. Imagine when the society no longer requires people with outstanding academic achievements one day...

繪本內有很多圖畫,很少甚至沒有文字,題材廣泛,原意讓小朋友有好奇心、輕鬆吸收新知識、有更多的思考機會,甚至透過圖畫去發揮想像力。小朋友可以自己閱讀,或是由爸爸媽媽在他們睡前說給他們。沒有一定的閱讀方法。
小時候沒有讀過繪本的印象,也許真的沒有。不見得香港的老師和父母都鼓勵小朋友讀繪本,只要求他們多讀很多文字的書、操練考試,以放棄童年來換取所謂的「人生入場券」。

繪本真的沒用嗎?看起來沒有經濟價值的,就一定沒用?繪本內的圖畫其實經過人們細心繪製,大多的圖畫都很吸引而且有意義,而圖畫有時比文字有著更豐富的含意,甚至是開放式的沒有既定答案,旨在引發讀者透過圖畫認識世界並引發他們的想像力,包括了似乎不符合現實邏輯的事情,都可以是想像的範圍。

為什麼要想像呢?這是人本來有的天賦,有了想像,才可以把沒可能變成可能,這是為何多年來人類不斷的創新和發明,大大改進我們的生活,讓生活更多采。

可是香港的教育卻把想像和創意都扼殺,只餘下標準答案的考試。從學校畢業,意味變成了倒模複製的人,在香港公司往往看到別人先是參考其他競爭對手或外國成功的案例,往往沒有先去思考究竟自己須要解決什麼問題,或是願景是什麼,結果只有比較:人有我沒有的就盲目的追趕,永遠都在框內看世界,也看不到希望。這也是為什麼香港的經濟,尤其零售業務處於疲弱的原因,若果我們能夠學會細心觀察和想像,就能有新的想法,的確那些看法不一定有人做過,不知結果,也有風險,但把前人成功經驗放進去,即使完全吸引了,也因為社會背景因素不同,不一定有同樣結果,其實所謂安全只是看到之前的人的幸運,風險一樣沒少。

的確我不能確實量化繪本有多用,但如果每天只是花半小時到一小時可以愉快的看看圖畫,又為何不可呢?我們現在要求小孩勤力考試取得「入場券」,只是因為過去的社會趨勢使然,但是社會始終會變的,「入場券」會作廢,我們還要傾注全部時間去作賭注嗎?一點做別的事情空間也不能嗎?

LifeAlvin C