‘Batman can’t read, that’s why he has super powers’ announced my six year old fully kitted out as Batman for our easy take on World Book day. He’d just read a book enthusiastically and when I’d suggested that we look at another book together, (using Batman as a foil!), he pointed out the obvious fly in the ointment! In this one sentence he deftly merged the world of super hero make-believe and rational logic. This six year old would make a perfect r ambassador for reading, likening as he does the importance of reading to having superpowers. How true is this and just how much more engaged and switched on might young boys be if reading were re-branded as a super power? With a logic and incite that cuts through to the core of reading targets and campaigns, he rationalises that if you can’t read in this world you’re going to need pretty special superpowers to get by. There’s no sense of Batman being too cool to read, (nor stigma too) but instead a matter of fact acceptance of the importance of reading as part of a child’s armoury of tools for life.

It’s probably worth noting that this same, intelligent, intuitive, engaged and eloquent little boy would by the Government’s own measure ‘Can write a story (or even its more recent reincarnation – a sentence) before the age of six years’, probably have been deemed a failure by the system. Thankfully his enlightenment teacher recognises the value and role played by full-bodied learning and the importance of children, particularly boys, not being disengaged with books by a fixation on targets and milestones. And so with gleaming eyes he bounded to school with Batman cape flowing. I wonder how Batman faired at his first Read Write Inc session today?!

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