I am a nursery school teacher in Africa and have three children of my own. As a child I loved my teachers, especially in junior school. My children love school to and I believe they love school so much because they have such wonderful teachers. This is why I am a teacher. I hope to give every child I teach as fond memories of school as I have.
I have a big, loving family, and every member has played a massive part in shaping each other. I have been writing and illustrating stories since I was very young, about six, and would force my family to listen to and read these stories over and over. They have always humoured, criticized and supported me and my wild dreams of becoming a writer. As an adult, I have continued to do the same and am supported by every member of my family even now, husband and children included.
As a child I grew up on a farm and spent holidays by the sea and visiting family in Zimbabwe. All these places captivated my imagination and I have been fascinated by the sea and it’s incredible creatures since the first time I got rolled over by a wave.
Stories play a big part in educating children and I firmly believe that every child who listens to or reads a story for themselves will come away having learnt something, be it listening skills, a spelling, a fact or an emotion. My mom and my teachers were fantastic story tellers. I have many fond memories of sitting on mom’s lap, or on the soft blue carpet in my class listening to stories. When I was very little, in Grade 1 and 2, my absolute favorite story was ‘The Far Away Tree’ by Enid Blyton. As I grew up I read many of her stories and she soon became one of my heroines. During my later years in junior school Roald Dahl became my new hero. I was an ‘Oompaloompa’ in our school production of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. During these years I had a teacher who came from Norway who was so good at reading stories and putting on accents, she was incredibly well suited to reading the fantastic stories of Roald Dahl. Not a single child in our class ever wriggled or needed the toilet while she was reading to us. We were captivated by her and by the stories she read. Roald Dahl’s stories are still a very big part of my work and family. As a mum and teacher I spend lots of time reading his books to the children in my life. Quentin Blake, Julia Donaldson, Lynley Dodd and Dr Seuss are my other Favorite authors and illustrators. Every time I read their work, either for my own pleasure or to others, I am inspired.’ Mrs Armitage and the big wave’ by Quentin Blake is the best book ever written as far as I am concerned. I hardly ever read stories written for adults, I much prefer the fantastical worlds that children’s writers create for their readers.
Where to find Ashleigh Bodington online
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