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Being told stories and being read to leads children to develop the rich storehouse of language, grammar and vocabulary they need to bring to texts when learning to read and write. 
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Tselane and the giant

A long, long time ago, when giants roamed about and chickens talked,

a poor woman lived with her daughter, Tselane, in a little house.

Since she had nobody to look after Tselane,

the woman was forced to leave the child alone when she went to plough her fields each day...