Many good picture books have been published in Estonia, and there are more and more coming. The participants of the 3MR (Making the Most of the Magic of Reading) project from the Estonian Reading Association are very pleased with this.

We presented the project in two workshops at the 4th Baltic Sea Conference on Literacy “Searching for a Common Language” taking place 16-21 January, 2020 in Tallinn, Estonia – Jaanika Moroc in Estonian and Liina Velner in English. The Erasmus+ project 3MR has worked on developing a curriculum and methodology for reading aloud picture books with children and promoting family literacy. Currently, pilot training courses of the 3 MR curriculum for Estonian kindergarten teachers, librarians and volunteers are taking place. With partners from Belgium, Romania and Italy, the project will test the reliability of the 3MR curriculum and methodology with about 100 people. Once the eventual necessary corrections have been made, the instructional materials will be produced with videos for both ECEC professionals working with children and parents. By the end of the project, the Estonian Reading Association hopes to start training experts in Estonia on reading aloud picture books. The project’s website is also being updated. The project is running from 2018 to 2021.

Picture books must be read aloud with the child, not to the child. The adult is the intermediator of the picture book. The reading experience shared with each child is unique and must be pleasure for both. 3MR reading methodology is based on the ideas of S. Terwagne, M. Bonnafé and J. Trelease. You can read anywhere and anytime with one child or with a small group of children. However, the picture books read must be of high quality both in content and form. Children’s listening skills and age should not be underestimated. You can read already with babies. Silent books are also very enjoyable. They are suitable, for example, for children with a home language other than the national language. A large share of our project focuses on promoting family literacy. There is much work to be done in this field. Although people generally read many books in Estonia, there are also families in our country where children are not exposed to high-quality children’s literature and where adults do not read to them.

The 3MR project team of the Estonian Reading Association