The Raising a Reader & Storyteller Podcast



About The Podcast 

Book Therapy's Bijal Shah, in collaboration with Sunita Shah of The Jai Jais, brings this 7-episode podcast on raising a reader and developing a storyteller.

Over eight episodes, we share tips and techniques on developing young readers' love for literature through acquiring reading skills, vocabulary, developing their imagination and learning to tell a story. We also discuss the benefits of reading on mental well-being through the practice of children's bibliotherapy. Everything we share is taken from our own personal experiences as a bibliotherapist, speech and language therapist and as authors.

As part of this podcast we'd also like to offer 10% off using discount code TENPERCENT on our Bibliotherapy, Literature & Mental Health course, that guides parents, teachers and mental health professionals on using bibliotherapy tools and techniques with children for mental well-being. You might also find our book, Bibliotherapy: The Healing Power of Reading helpful.


Episode 1:  Who are the voices behind this Podcast? Plus tips and techniques for raising a reader!

Episode 2: Parent Child interaction. Benefits of reading toddlerhood, preschool to established reader.

Episode 3: The importance of developing vocabulary.

Episode 4: Building narrative frameworks and storytelling.

Episode 5: The importance of imagination. 

Episode 6: Mental health and children’s bibliotherapy

Episode 7: Reading stages and identifying the right book for the right child

Episode 8: A few words from our little ones on the books they've loved.

Coming soon.


About Your Hosts

Bijal Shah 

Bijal Shah is a bibliotherapist, counsellor, author and poet. She is the founder of Book Therapy, which offers individual, couple’s and group bibliotherapy, literary curation and personalised reading services as well as bibliotherapy training. Bijal’s book recommendations have featured in the GuardianMarie ClaireNBC NewsAsian Voice and various other publications. She is a member of the International Federation of Library Associations and the American Library Association. She is also the author of the non-fiction book, "The Happiness Mindset”, which has received more than 50 reviews on Amazon with a 5 star rating. 

Bijal has also completed a post-graduate professional accountancy qualification and a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics from the University of Warwick, after attending Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls. She is a mother of two and currently resides in Hampstead, London with her husband

Sunita Shah

Sunita is the creator behind The Jai Jais, a growing collection of books, yoga/mindfulness and educational resources for children centred around Hindu gods and goddesses. Sunita has blended her expertise as a speech and language therapist with her children’s natural curiosity about their faith to produce the collection for children of all ages and backgrounds. Sunita’s spark to create books about Hindu characters was ignited when her eldest son, Syon who began asking questions about the temple in her home. He would talk about the elephant god, the monkey god and the powerful fork ‘trident’ of Lord Shiva which he thought was like King Triton from The Little Mermaid.

While being a mother gave her the thirst to produce the books, her background in speech and language therapy armed her with the essential ingredients to write for children. Sunita is the National Advisor for the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy and deliver training to the NHS and educational and private establishments on supporting bilingual children.

Sunita is passionate about children not growing up too fast and enjoying their childhood, creating memories and interactions that will last a lifetime. 


Show Notes

Episode 1: Who are the voices behind this Podcast? Plus tips and techniques for raising a reader!

Book Therapy (Bibliotherapy)

Bibliotherapy, Literature & Mental Health Course

The Jai Jais 

TLC Speech Therapy

The Happiness Mindset book

365 Book Journal Ideas

Reading Cards for Children 

Children’s A – Z of Book Recommendations

Help Your Child Become a Lifelong Reader

Personalised Reading

The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

Create A Story Cards

Story Cubes

Usborne First Thousand Words in English

Children's Literary Festivals in the UK                   

Literary Festivals for Book Lovers 2019                      

The Gingerbread Man

Create Your Own Comic Book

The Little Prince

Audible Audio Book Subscription 

Harry Potter Box Set Collection by J K Rowling

Animal Farm by George Orwell

David Walliams World Box Set

Gruffalo’s Child by Julia Donaldson 

Stick Man by Julia Donaldson

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

Happy, Confident, Me Journal 

Don’t Worry, Be Happy: A Child’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety 

The Tattooist of Auschwitz 

Episode 2: Parent Child interaction. Benefits of reading toddlerhood, preschool to established reader.

Reading Affirmation Cards for Raising A Reader

Children’s A – Z of Book Recommendations

Help Your Child Become a Lifelong Reader

UCL Study Parent-Infant Book Reading

It Takes Two To Talk: A Practical Guide For Parents of Children With Language Delays

Makaton core vocabulary signs pocket book 1

My First Signs(Baby Signing)

The Kissing Hand

Going to the Dentist

The New Social Story Book

Big Life Journal

Autism Advice

Carol Gray Social Stories

Episode 3: The Importance of Developing Vocabulary

Mrs Wordsmith

TLC Speech Therapy (Bilingualism) 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Bananagram Word Game with Score Sheets

Hasbro Gaming Boggle

Words - Years 1 & 2 Magnetic Activity Chart National Literacy Strategy

Junior Scrabble Board Game 

Episode 4: Building Narrative Frameworks & Storytelling

Narrative Therapy

The Effectiveness of Narrative Therapy With Children's Social and Emotional Skill Development

Speaking and Listening Through Narrative, Ages 5 -7

Code Name Bananas by David Walliams

Episode 5: The Importance of Imagination

Dr Stephanie Carlson’s Study on Executive Function, Pretend Play and Imagination 

Episode 6: Mental Health and Children's Bibliotherapy 

National Literacy Trust’s Mental well-being, reading and writing UCL study

Reading Stages proposed by Maryanne Wolf (2008) in her book Proust and the squid: the story and science of the reading brain

The Magical Healing Quality of Bibliotherapy

Bibliotherapy, Literature & Mental Health online course for Readers, Mental Health Professionals, Parents, Teachers, Librarians and Social Workers

Reading Affirmation Cards for Raising A Reader

Children’s A – Z of Book Recommendations

Help Your Child Become a Lifelong Reader

Book Recommendations for Different issues for Children (0-5 years)

A: Attachment and Growth

First Day of School: Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Moving: Amelia’s Notebook by Marissa Moss

Attachment: Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney

The Anxious Child: Wemberley Worried by Kevin Henkes

Missing Parents: The Kissing Hand

B: Creativity and Critical Thinking 

Seeing Yourself As Creative - The Dot by Peter H Reynolds

Imagination - Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett

Confidence in Creativity - Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae

Emotional Intelligence - My Many Coloured Days by Dr Seuss

Positive Thinking - When Pigs Fly by Valerie Coulman

Finding Your Dreams - Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman

C: Childhood Challenges

Telling the Truth - Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto

Losing a Tooth - Little Rabbit’s Loose Tooth by Lucy Bate

Dyslexia - Thank You, My Falker by Patricia Polacco

Everyone Has Bad Days - Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

Moving to a New Country - Angel Child, Dragon Child by Michele Maria Surat

D: Bullying and Bullying Friendships

Being Yourself - The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

Letting Go of Pride - The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

Bullying - Wonder by R J Palacio



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