RAISING INTEREST IN MALAY CLASSIC LITERATURE IN YOUNG READERS

Ding Choo Ming

Abstract


The interest in reading printed books has tapered off in this digital age as shown
by reports of continual loss from many book publishers over the years. What to
do to whet reading habits, especially among the young? What are the options
in store in book publishing? What can publishing experts predict? What can we
say how to whet reading habit? We know that without reader, more publishers
will wind up their business. Thus, new ways and outlets have to search.
Though Malay hikayat are considered important, they are not interesting. To
make them interesting, relevant and acceptable to young readers, publishers
must recognize the twin purposes of instruction and delight that have long
been accepted as the primary goals of books for children and the fact that they
are important and form a distinctive category of readers with separate needs
and interests. Only by making the books interesting, relevant and acceptable
to them, Malay hikayat can hope to live on. Though physically weak, they are
spiritually, emotionally and imaginatively strong. Stories about animals, fantasy
and legends are popular with them. They love the illustrated books, cartoons,
comics, movies and others on Pak Pandir, Pak Belalang, Singapura Dilanggar
Todak, Puteri Gunung Ledang, Hang Tuah dan Hang Jebat. These stories are
also among the  nest examples of moral tales that encourage them to focus on
self-improvement like Aesop fables, stories from Grimn’s brothers. This means
that integration of visual and verbal elements has remained a signi cant feature
to attract children. In this paper, we argue that publishers must adapt stories
from Malay classical literature to illustrated books, movies, comics, movies,  lms
and e-books. Linking the best visual and verbal elements in these publications
is the way forward to teach literacy, history and moral to young readers.

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