A regional influence
Today, Read With Me is a team of professionals located throughout the Nord and Pas-de-Calais departments, as well as in the north of the Somme and Aisne departments.
Organised reading projects
A committed and passionate team
To run reading sessions, organise training, develop and coordinate projects, develop partnerships and propose all the actions around shared reading and picture books.
Portraits: blue background by Barbara Grossmann – others by Read With Me
I crisscross the Hauts-de-France region to the seaside on the Côte d'Opale, and even a little further, to share readings, forge intergenerational links and transmit.
This little book "Stories of the Night" hasn't left me since I found it! It allows me to meet newborns, children, college students and adults. A magnificent and fantastic book with a poetic and sweet text, which always touches me so much! A tenderness book, like a night light to better get through the night like a journey of words and images, three little stories to send thousands of stars into the eyes of young and old...
"Petites histoires de nuit" [Stories of the Night] by Kitty Crowther - Ed. Pastel - 2017
"Moi Ming" [I, Ming] by Clotilde Bernos and Nathalie Novi – Ed. Rue du Monde – 2002
"The Tunnel" by Anthony Browne is a picture book dear to my heart. The flowers in the wallpapers are magnificent and I like the powerful and fantastic narrative that the images and the text weave together. I have the feeling to draw from it essential evocations: Feminine masculine. Brother sister. Inside Outside. Action contemplation.
Polarities that make the world dance.
"Le Tunnel" [The Tunnel] by Anthony Browne – Ed. Kaleidoscope – 1989
To teenagers first of all who need light and warmth to grow.
Next, to adults: those with numerous school failures who are sometimes reconciled with literature, and learners who, through the grace of their accent, proudly discover the richness of French.
Thus, nourished by stories, everyone is charged like a well "wadded" battery [pun in French between "ouatée" and "watt"]!
As for the favorite picture book…one word, I would say…Heart. To pronounce in the form of an image, above all. Because…
…valiant physical heart to bear the weight of books every day,
…emotional heart to receive with each reading a zest of attention, a cloud of listening.
Acclaimed by young and old, "In My Heart" gives hope to read the words and weaken the evils of the soul.
"Dans mon petit cœur" [In My Heart] by Jo Witek and Christine Roussey – Ed. by La Martiniere – 1989
"The Endless Tree" speaks to me of life, of death, of transmission, of grief, of courage, of wonder, of play, of meeting, of links...
Claude Ponti's picture books, you have to fall into them! And not just when you're little!
His poetic and abundant universe sometimes intimidates or repels adults, and his long stories require time to sit with children... But sharing his picture books is to offer a wealth of language, inexhaustible meaning , essential stories where every child, every adult draws strength to Grow!
And then there are his "little" picture books: Tromboline and Foulbazar, Monsieur Monsieur and Mademoiselle Moiselle!... And “it’s never too much when it’s good! ".
"L'arbre sans fin" [The Endless Tree] by Claude Ponti – Ed. L’école des loisirs – 1992
The feeling of being here and elsewhere with reading is a delicious pleasure that I savored with my loved ones and then as a mother reader. A meeting in 2003 allowed me to join the fine Read With Me team until 2011 to find it again with enthusiasm in 2020. As a story passer, I traveled the areas of Valenciennes and Cambrai, to share new adventures.
Among my many favorites, "The Giving Tree" is the one for which I have a very special tenderness. Small treasure of my library to which I often return, it is in my eyes a model of benevolence, and pays homage to the tree in all its beauty. This story which questions, tackles, casually, important things such as friendship, complicity, expectation, sharing in life, death, man and his relationship with Mother Nature. In the end, what is essential in our life course.
"L'arbre généreux" [The Giving Tree] by Shel Silverstein – Ed. L'école des loisirs– 1982
And I often read "Tom Thumb"...
Because it's a tale and it's happening today.
Because it's cruel and full of hope.
Because there is the city, exclusion, fear and the forest of tales, a place of all possibilities.
Because there is the striking text of Stéphane Servant and the sublime illustrations of Ilya Green.
Because we learn to grow, to build ourselves, to escape the ogre.
Because we all have 3 pebbles in our pocket...
"Ti Poucet" [Tom Thumb] by Stéphane Servant and Ilya Green – Ed. Rue du Monde – 2009
Generally, it's up to us to choose our picture books, but sometimes it feels like they're choosing us. There on a shelf, a book "Grandmother Sugar and Grandfather Chocolate" caught my eye... and hasn't left my side since. A small square picture book. A colorful picture book, rounded shapes, a text accessible to toddlers and adults alike. A very sweet picture book on the background of argument and above all love, which reminds us that it is often good to forgive.
"Grand-mère Sucre et Grand-père Chocolat" [Sugar Grandmother and Chocolate Grandfather] by Gigi Bigot and Josse Goffin – Ed. Bayard Jeunesse – 2019
There are picture books which, in the course of an affectionate stroll, fall under our noses and strike us right in the heart. We don't necessarily know why right away.
We observe it... We read it aloud to hear it better... We analyze it... If we want...
And that's when he immerses us in memories... In a certain past... In a story that we had forgotten...
Maybe a story of ours...
But it is perhaps just for the depth of the words or the watercolors of the torn pages of the diary that I present to you "The Guy". What is certain is that it moves me every time I read it!
"Le Type" [The Guy] by Philippe Barbeau and Fabienne Cinquin – Ed. L'atelier du poisson soluble – 2004
Regularly, I read "Waiting For You" by Émilie Vast. “Waiting for you, I saw the rain turn to snow…”, she writes. Seeing the days and months pass with the changes of nature, a woman awaits her child, to whom, once born, she will tell about the world that awaited him. A privileged moment between a mother and her child. A marvelous picture book that approaches motherhood with delicacy, poetry and emotions, like an ode to time passing and to life so beautiful and full of promise.
"En t'attendant" [Waiting For You] by Émilie Vast – Ed. MeMo – 2014
"Lawrence All Alone" is my most favorite album, which I read to children… and adults. I really like this story of a little rabbit eager for freedom... like me! He advances in life by taking cross roads, he sometimes gets lost, meets people who will make him grow, reveal him to himself. He can't wait to leave the family cocoon to live his own life... But his mom stays warm in his heart. He writes to her, thinks of her, confides when he sees her... It touches me a lot because I don't believe in the saying "out of sight, out of mind"... I rather think that when you love it's "at the life to death...".
"Laurent tout seul" [Lawrence All Alone] by Anaïs Vaugelade – Ed. The school of leisure – 1998
Preparing picture books, taking them on a journey and sharing them in encounters with children and their parents is a constantly renewed adventure. These thousand and one little moments of wonder nourish my thinking to continue to defend the imagination and the vitality of the language of the story!
As my favorite picture book, I choose "Bark, George!" ...
... for the pleasure of reading and rereading it, delighting me with its images, funny and telling at the same time,
... for the curious and amazed attention it always arouses in young and old alike,
... and for the final touch, of a stunning humor, which says a lot about the capacities of children-George to surprise us and to affirm themselves without conformity!
"Aboie, Georges !" [Bark, George!] by Jules Feiffer – Ed. Pastel – 2000
Read With Me, I fell into it when I was not that small. And hop ! A few years of volunteering. And then one day... I dare... and in 2017 I become an salaried reader aloud. For me, reading aloud conjures up an amazed childhood with wide eyes, challenges my adult curiosity and invites me to a constantly renewed orality.
I particularly enjoy reading with babies and their parents. Often, I choose "Dadaaa". In this picture book, everything is there to read the face and the voice. Behind an apparent simplicity, it is a deep exchange, eye to eye, made of dense silences where discovery is activated. Imagining emotions that do not say what they are, "Dadaaa" invites us to experience the emergence of oral language in an authentic shared reading experience.
Wow, that's something. An adventure, a real one.
"Dadaaa" – Michiyo Namura – Ed. L'école des loisirs – 2012
Specialized educator and young mother, I become a volunteer. Then I created the association Lectures Vagabondes [Vagabond Readings] in Lille Sud, which I directed for 12 years. A time employee of the association La Clé [The Key] in Lille, I joined in 2019 The North Safeguarding Association as an educator with families of Roma culture in squats and slums, and for Read With Me as a reader-trainer off-road, with everyone and everywhere, especially anywhere! Meeting, reading, talking to each other, singing, being surprised, dreaming together, bonding, observing, listening, sharing... I remain in love with these emotions and these ever-renewed surprises.
A favorite picture book?... Let's say... my favorite of the day is "The Lamb Who Wouldn't Be A Sheep". A picture book that advocates responsiveness, solidarity, collective intelligence and resistance against all kinds of wolves, but also the protection of all differences.
Like any good picture book, everyone sees it, takes what they want, but everything is finely said!
"L’agneau qui ne voulait pas être un mouton" [The Lamb That Did Not Want To Be A Sheep] by Didier Jean and Zad – Ed. Syros Jeunesse – 2003
"Stone Soup" by Anaïs Vaugelade is one of my favorite picture books. This story of a cunning old wolf who, despite his ambiguous gaze and emaciated appearance, attracts the curiosity of the animals in the village where he stops one winter evening will bring out the values of sharing, solidarity and generosity.
A hymn to hospitality!
"Une soupe au caillou" [Stone Soup] by Anaïs Vaugelade – Ed. The leisure school – 2000
"The Blue Chair" moved me a lot when I read it for the first time. This album has awakened the child who slumbered in me and upset the adult... With a simple chair (blue!), it opens up a space of all possibilities. The humorous text celebrates the power of the imagination, while the illustrations remain rooted in reality. The staging magnifies the complicity and jubilation of the game between the two friends... until the arrival of a rational camelid and devoid of imagination.
"La chaise bleue" [The Blue Chair] by Claude Boujon – Ed. L'école des loisirs – 1996
"The Sweetest Fig" is a picture book, certainly not for the little ones. It's the story of a little dog, his greedy and selfish master dentist, an old lady and magic figs... A superbly illustrated tale with Kafkaesque accents and a very American atmosphere... Fantastic!
"Une figue de rêve" [The Sweetest Fig] by Chris Van Allsburg – Ed. L'école des loisirs – 1995
They were part of the professional team of Read With Me
- Those who left for the other side, and their voices still ring in our ears:
Yann Bottin, Daniel Fatous, Monique Langlois, Laurette Laversin, Annie Roger, Suzanne « Zoun » Vernier.
- Those who continued on their way elsewhere:
Danielle Auclert, Claudie Baker, Théo Battesti, Inès Bildstein, Agnès Busch, Cédric Carré, Esyld Carval-Colas, Garance Cutillas, Bertrand Dazin, Antoine De Gandt, Valérie Dib, Laurence Dupriez, Marie-Odile Delcambre, Elisabeth Dubois, Claudie Dufour, Françoise Geeraert, Alice Gouraud, Sophie Hage, Blandine Kolman, Antoinette Le Marois, Anne Leviel, Catherine Martinache, Marie-France Painset, Zaïa Rahni, Aymée Roubinowitz, Maryvonne Royez, Rafaële Rudent, Olivier Spilmont, Annie Sylvestre, Francine Venière, Pascale Villette, Ségolène Yecke-Lombi.
Thanks to these fellow travelers.
Reader, an original profession in its own right
Coming from very different backgrounds, our salaried readers have in common a love of books, working with children, adolescents and adults, and meeting families.
A hybrid and atypical profession, which has been invented over time.
A reader goes to meet people. Constantly on the road to all audiences, even in atypical places such as PMI (Mother and Child Protection center) or charitable places, in order to share stories, readings, feeling supported by the experience and the strength of children’s literature.
We are mediators, story passers.
We use the book, mainly the picture book, without animation around it. We don’t do shows; we want to share with others something ordinary and extraordinary at the same time.
We like to read stories. We are committed to passing on this pleasure and desire to read to others, in all possible places, without injunctions, such as “you must read…”.
Being a reader at Read With Me means to...
Reading aloud is not reciting, it is immersing oneself in the text of an author or an author, to make it accurate in its rhythm, its musicality, its sensoriality, at the service of the meaning and intended for a person. And each reading renews this encounter.
Rigor, to be professional and respect ethics and the fundamental principles of action.
Lightness, to dare to expose yourself through reading and adjust, confident, to each situation.
Knowing how to deal with the unexpected and constantly renewing oneself requires flexibility. That's also the charm of this job because otherwise it would be routine!
Each person has their resources, their cultural richness, built of stories, songs, music, languages, and their own history with books. But what is certain is that all humans need stories, and this is how the meeting is made.
The quality of the selected picture books is decisive. It is the opposite of elitism and self-segregation. It is about cultural rights: the right to have access to a rich cultural heritage that is not always widely known.
Very often on the move, they show flexibility in their schedules, while constantly transporting their picture books... as if they were grafted to them!
Living in a territory or at least knowing it well is an asset. Crossing paths with people, meeting people, forging ties, seeing what is being done, all this work is as important as reading.
A reader does not have to stay in one place. Its primary objective is transmission and handing over. The library, the structures of the city or the agglomeration will be able to support families in remaining readers for themselves and their children.
Reading is not just reading. It also means questioning the quality of the book, the practice and work of reading aloud, the approach to audiences, whether babies, children or adults. All of this requires thought. As there is no initial training on this, we build the training courses according to our needs.
Non-judgmental observations with as little interpretation as possible. However, it is always a subjective observation, which highlights the feeling. Observing as "accurately" as possible is as if there were a painting unfolding in front of you but in which you are a stakeholder.
Between, for example, a reception center for asylum seekers with parent-child workshops and homes in the privacy of families, readings in the streets of neighborhoods with adolescents, readings in homes for the elderly and Maternal and Child Protection centers where families come for something other than reading, a reader's reading practice is constantly enriched by the contributions of different places, audiences and atmospheres.
We are passers of stories. It is in the eyes of those who listen to us that we become aware of the multiple contributions of stories. And that's what we want to convey to parents: the importance of sharing stories about the awakening of their children, if we take the time to do it regularly.