I was very happy this past weekend to find that two of my granddaughters, too young yet to be reading independently, are such good listeners they can recite their favourite books by heart. I particularly enjoyed joining in with Audrey’s rendition of Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy, although I don’t know that she approved of my doing it with a Kelvinside accent. Two year olds often prefer a vanilla delivery.
Listening is a dying art, especially for children growing up in homes with several TV sets. Watching is an entirely different skill. It’s hard to imagine them rushing to tune in to the radio as my generation did in the Fifties, eager for the next episode of Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Eagle of the Ninth. There was no spin-off DVD. You had to imagine the scene for yourself.