Readers' letters - February 3

Joy of reading fairy tales to your children

Friday, 3rd February 2017, 4:32 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd February 2017, 5:36 pm

Once upon a time, about 40 years ago, I would spend many a happy moment reading my Ladybird fairy tale books over and over again.

Those stories, along with repetitious recitals of nursery rhymes, set me in good stead for an appreciation of literature – as well as instilling valuable life skills and social messages.

As a mother, I enjoyed reciting them to my own children, but as a primary school teacher, I have used them as an introduction to topics for all areas of the curriculum: Dick Whittington for medieval history, the science of materials from the Three Little Pigs, and Cinderella as a starting point for work on telling the time.

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Admittedly, they have not led me to become ‘Einstein’, but as the man himself wisely said: “If you want children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

In a world of ever-evolving technology, the basic elements of a good book are the most valuable and heart-warming. Children consume other media to create fantasy worlds and distance themselves from reality. But stories, and fairy tales in particular, are experts in animating human life, affecting what people are able to understand as real, as possible, and as worth doing or best avoided. They provide an alternative world of morality and naivety.

This National Storytelling Week, we need to focus on enriching young minds with classic values. Children should read and be read to. Recalling my own school days, trips and stories are at the forefront. I remember watching the launch of a new canal boat, and listening avidly to the tales of My Naughty Little Sister in story time.

My parents didn’t study the theories of learning, but simply valued family time. What they achieved was two daughters who remember their childhood with fondness, and who have achieved success in their own endeavours – their ‘happily ever after’. Make a difference in your child’s life and involve the whole family in National Storytelling Week.

Sarah Weller

via email

usa politics

Faith: Believing in your fellow humans

Brave headlines from the LP (We won’t stand by, LP January 31).

I’m really undecided about Donald Trump.

However, one thing I am certain of is, how on earth is one individual able to get so much worldwide resentment at his first stroke in office?

What power must lie behind one man. Like a lot of us, he probably believes in goodness.

For all our idiosyncrasies, at least our country has obstacles to clear so this cannot happen here.

Just get on with leaving the EU if we are going to though.

The tide of unrest is the result of trying to please all the people all the time and, in the process, the really clever ones have discovered how to exploit the gaping holes left there.

We are never going to agree, as we live in a world where we have most people believing in religion where nothing can be proved in this age of extreme enlightenment.

Hundreds of years ago I could understand having to tow the line under the sentence of death for not following the faiths offered and, of course, this outrage still exists in some backward countries.

We have never really moved on in the last 3,000 years.

The real faith lies with those who believe in their fellow human beings, irrespective of colour, race or background. The one that goes “one good turn deserves another”. Where on earth did the acceptance of wrongdoing come from?

To Trump or not to?

via email

usa politics

Charming threat to feminist enterprise

As President Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Mrs Kellyanne Conway helped pull off one of the most stunning political victories in US history.

So, why do the feminists hate her? Why isn’t she

being praised as a feminist icon?

Could it be because Kellyanne Conway is outspokenly pro-life?

It’s not as if Mrs Conway got to where she is by accident.

She’s an Oxford-educated Phi Beta Kappa, who earned a law degree with honours from George Washington University Law Centre, and is the founder and president of The Polling Company, Inc., a corporation with offices in New York and Washington D.C, which, for 25 years, have been home to some of the most powerful pollsters in the country – starting with Mrs Conway herself.

She’s got success stories all across the board, directing powerful conservative victories in election after election, advising the GOP on how to overcome the ‘war on women’ canard, and tracking trends to help pro-life politicians win against incredible media bias.

She’s talented, sought-after, highly successful, powerful and a woman.

Shouldn’t Kellyanne Conway be the pin-up girl for feminists everywhere?

First and foremost, feminism has never been about empowering women.

The underlying point and purpose of the movement was to wage war on traditional gender roles first, and then, finally, gender itself. Feminism is fundamentally anti-family. In a world at war with real women, Mrs Conway is a charming threat to the entire feminist enterprise.

G Marlow

via email


Risk assessments for eating toast

We are now advised by the Food Standards Agency that we should be careful as to how we toast our bread and that roast potatoes – like

bacon – can cause cancer.

Well, I know one thing, burnt toast in crumb form does not restore your hair – I have tried it for years.

I recollect a Health and Safety Inspector once telling me that you could eat asbestos and it wouldn’t hurt you. Think I will stick to roast potatoes but only at Christmas and Sundays – after I’ve completed the risk assessment.

Ron Clayton

Address supplied


Come along and catch up with pals

The Winckley Square Convent Annual Reunion for former pupils will take place on Saturday, February

25, 1pm until 4pm, at Our Lady and St Edward’s

Parish Centre, Marlborough Drive, Fulwood, Preston, PR2 9UE. ‘Girls’ come from all over the country, so do come to catch up with friends.

We had 97 turned up last year.

Gwen Hibbert

via email


Fracking will lead to higher usage of gas

How can the production of more gas via fracking not lead to the consumption of more gas?

How can this new industry be justified morally?

When will enough of us say “No”?

David Cragg-James

Address supplied