The UAE-based teacher gives lessons from his personal experiences in childhood to overcome diffidence and develop the vocabulary to write a book.
Sharjah, May 12, 2022: Every single child has a unique story to tell, and we need to help them with words, noted author, poet and teacher Liam Kelly at a freewheeling talk on the opening day of Sharjah Children's Reading Festival (SCRF) which is being held from May 11 to 22 at Expo Centre Sharjah.
Kelly, who created the book The Wonderful World of Worried William, was speaking on “The World of Anxiety” at an SCRF 2022 Cultural Programme event, well-attended by both parents and young children.
The Irish author called over two young children to his side in order to elicit and understand their views about school life and relationship with parents. He remembered the central role his mother played in his life but how, despite the bonding, he could not bring himself to confide in her about issues he had in school.
He referred in particular to an incident in school when his teacher called him over to the blackboard and asked him to pronounce the word “look” and he stammered. He confided he had so much anxiety that he didn't want to cope, and got very low scores because he was always worried about getting 100 per cent.
Kelly, who published his first book at the age of 37, underlined the need to instill confidence in children, for which parents and adults need to open up to them. “If parents don't talk about their thoughts or feelings, children won't either,” he reminded his audience. And even if children did not communicate their thoughts and fears, their eyes never lie, Kelly told them as he took them on a journey of self-discovery and realisation that each one is special.
The author cum master doodler exhorted all to make use of the many apps available “to write your own story” as it was “okay to tell stories through different characters”.