A librarian for the Boy Scouts for America toured the US in order to raise awareness and support for better quality children’s books. He wanted to create a “Good Book Week” to celebrate children’s literature and he enlisted the help of Publisher’s Weekly, the American Library Association and the American Booksellers Association to join the Boy Scouts in promoting this event.
In 1944, the Children’s Book Council took over the event and it is still held today, 98 years after the first event. (see Every Child a Reader for more on the history of the event)
High quality children’s books are critical in building the success of future readers. What can you do as parents or caregivers to build a love of reading for the children you care for.
- Make reading a regular routine. Just like brushing teeth, reading should be a part of your child’s every day. It only takes twenty minutes to build a love of reading and the necessary pre-literacy skills that will aid your child during his school years.
- Find books your children love. Read blogs, check out the new shelf of your library, go to the bookstore and ask friends. There are a lot of places to find new and enriching books.
- Put books within your child’s reach. No high bookshelves! Have baskets in multiple rooms of the house with easy access to books. Keep a bag handy in the car with books and always keep a book or two with you while you wait for appointments. Make finding a book as easy as finding her favorite toy.
- Go to a bookstore or library storytime as a family. Show your child the importance of reading by attending a community storytime. Here you will learn about new books and learn new songs to sing together.
- To raise a reader be a reader. Let your child catch you reading throughout the day. Our kids tend to copy our habits. Look how early they imitate our smartphone habits! So, pick up a book and get reading, and know that your love of reading will grow your child’s love of it too!
Don’t forget to look at the events page at your local library, bookstore and school to see the exciting events taking place in your community for Children’s Book Week.
For further information about this week and ways to celebrate
- Get started on your summer reading with this Summer 2017 list by Publisher’s Weekly.
- Find out more about Children’s Book Week here.
- Search for your local events here.
- Find downloadable books and activities from a CBW sponsor here.
You can also vote in the Children and Teen’s Book Choice awards by clicking here.
Tell us in the comments how you are celebrating with your child this week!
Signs your child is ready for chapter books:
- Enjoys listening to longer stories.
- Enjoys stories where the pictures don’t do most of the talking.
- Enjoys hearing the stories you read to your older child. (Reading Rainbow)
- Starts thinking abstractly.
So if you answer yes to most of the questions you are ready to start choosing your first chapter book with your child.
Picking the Right Book:
Make sure the story fits your child’s interests. Like choosing a picture book, we want to make sure our child engages in the story. Look for books where the main character shares hobbies or is in a similar life situation.
Pictures still help. Choose a book that still has pictures throughout the story. It breaks up the text and provides an opportunity for you to talk about what you have read. With more listening than looking it might be harder for your child to hold the story thread in his head at first. Practice stopping every few pages and asking questions.
Start Small. There are a lot of great beginning chapter books like The Magic Treehouse series or The Clubhouse Mysteries or Matt Christopher or Mercy Watson among many others. The sentences and chapters are short and there are usually no more than 5 paragraphs per page.
Slowly start adding chapter books to your daily reading habit. Increase the number of pages you read and don’t worry about reading a full chapter! Since the stories aren’t necessarily driven by the pictures, let your child explore legos, coloring, blocks or another activity while you read. Just because their hands are busy doesn’t mean they aren’t listening. Always talk about what you read the previous day before you start reading. It will help them learn to hold the story in their heads for longer amounts of time in between readings.
Before long your child will ask to add a chapter book or two to the library basket but never stop reading those picture books because they are still a great source of unique and rich vocabulary and reading fun!
Other great chapter books:
(I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you click on the pictures it will take you to Amazon, where if you make a purchase I receive a percentage of the sale.)
What our family is currently reading together:
- Ages Infant, Toddler, Preschool
- Illustrated by Matt Loveridge
- Skyhorse Publishing Inc, 2014
I love picture books you can sing a long to. Not only are they fun, singing is a great way for young children to hear sounds and how they are broken apart into syllables and singing also accentuates consonants and vowels in ways we don’t always get in reading.
But, if you are musically challenged, don’t worry! Reading the text is still a great way to help build these skills. The great thing about songs, read or sung, is the rhythmic text and the alliteration.
This old band is sung to the tune, “This old man” It is a song most kids will recognize and join in with even if they don’t know the words they can hum along. I love the playful use of onomatopoeia and alliteration throughout the song. The pictures are fun and comic like. There are lots of different objects to talk about on the page. And after a few repeats your kids will be singing along.
Another great part of this book is the math literacy it builds. Although I wish they used the actual numbers along with the written out number, counting backwards is a skill young preschoolers will find fun. And after the book is finished you can continue the conversation by grabbing sticks, or toys or whatever is at hand and using them to count 1-10 and then 10-1.
It is also great to help your child build narrative skills. Talk with your child about what instrument is played first. Maybe write it out on paper, cut them out and help your child organize as you read through the book again.
After all when we talk about literacy we aren’t just talking about words.
This is a great book to pick up when you are short on reading time. It has the vocabulary, the sounds, and the narrative skills we are looking for in a book.
Happy Reading or in this case Happy Singing!
Other fun books to sing with your child
(Reminder I am an amazon affiliate. When you click on a picture it takes you to amazon, where if you make a purchase, I get a portion of the sale. I do not get paid to promote any particular book. The views and opinions are mine and mine alone.)
Reading 20 minutes a day is critical. Especially during the toddler years. It may be hard to get a toddler to sit still for a full 20 minutes, so break up reading throughout the day. Remember even if they are doing something else they are still listening. So grab a book and read while they play or while you wait at an appointment or for a break at the park.
Books should only have a few lines per page. Even basic board books are a great read for this age. Choose short rhyming stories about familiar routines. Books about shapes, counting and feelings will help build basic vocabulary and help your child identify the world around him. Find books with bright simple pictures. Talk about the books you read to help draw the connections in the book.
Toddlers love to learn and you are the perfect teacher!
TOP 8 BOOKS TO READ WITH TODDLERS TODAY:
- I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont, Harcourt, Inc., 2005. Rhyming, colors, singing this book has it all. The text can be read or sung to the tune of (It ain’t gonna rain no more, no more.) A mother warns her son to stop painting and he wants to listen but he just can’t help painting. EVERYTHING! The book builds vocabulary, increases phonological awareness and a book kids will return to time and time again.
- Move Over, Rover. Karen Beaumont, Harcourt, Inc., 2006. Another picture book win for author Karen Beaumont. Great pictures, unique words, fun rhymes, and a strong narrative make this a great book for toddlers. Find out what happens when a dog has to share his doghouse with animals escaping the rain. Until a very unwelcome guest arrives.
- One Hot Summer Day. Nina Crews. Greenwillow Books, 1995. (DIVERSE BOOK) Crews is a master of photography and text. In this book a young girl finds a fun time despite the summer heat. The familiar routine of summer play and the basic text will attract the youngest readers. It builds vocabulary, narrative skills, and will motivate readers to come back to the book again and again.
- Hickory Dickory Dock. Keith Baker. Harcourt, Inc. 2007. Familiar nursery rhymes help build phonological awareness. The repetition of sounds and the ability to sing along with the book make this a great choice for young listeners. They will learn counting and time, hear unique words, and be able to participate fully in the story.
- Counting Kisses. Karen Katz. Margaret K McElderry Books. 2001. Katz is known for her gentle illustrations, showing love between parents and children all while introducing vocabulary, counting, shapes, and everyday routines. Counting Kisses is a simple story of a child waking and a family sharing kisses throughout the day. Letter awareness and vocabulary are built with each reading.
- The Very Busy Spider. Eric Carle. Philomel Books, 1984. Carle’s books are classics. This story is about a spider who works hard all day while ignoring the pleas of the other animals on the farm to come and play. Children will learn animal names and sounds through this book. The illustrations, which Carle is known for, are simple, bright and inviting.
- Ten, Nine Eight. Molly Bang. Greenwillow Books, 1983. (DIVERSE BOOK) This Caldecott Honor book helps all children get ready for bed by counting its way through evening routines. Letter Awareness, Vocabulary and Print Motivation are strong in this goodnight story.
- Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you Hear? Bill Martin Jr. Eric Carle. Henry Holt and Company, 1991. Martin and Carle team up again in this book describing the sounds of different animals they will find at the zoo. Using Carle’s signature bright simple illustrations and Martin’s simple lyrical text. This is a book you will read again and again. It builds vocabulary, phonological awareness, and narrative skills.
Find the books at Amazon:
(I am an amazon affiliate. I don’t get paid to review books. The opinions are mine and mine alone. If you click on a picture and make a purchase from amazon I do receive a portion of the sale.)
If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, DON’T! By Elise Parsley. Hachette Book Group, Inc. 2016.
(I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you click on the image you will be redirected to Amazon, where if you make a purchase, I receive a portion of the sale. I do not get paid to review particular books. The view are my own.)
Kids from toddler to preschool will love this book. It is reminiscent of Numeroff’s If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. A little girl heads to the beach with her piano against the advice of her mother. As she drags the large instrument down the street her mother’s warning comes true and she realizes a boat or a Frisbee or a shovel are better companions at the beach.
What I like about this book.
It is funny. Kids will giggle and laugh over how silly the girl is taking a piano to the beach. (PRINT MOTIVATION) It has a strong narrative with repetition which helps build reading comprehension (NARRATIVE SKILLS) How the words are designed and placed on the page will highlight how books are read and how we follow the words on a page. (PRINT AWARENESS) I love the author’s use of language by using words like draggy, rested, bob. (VOCABULARY) Finally the pictures fit the flow of the story so well that your child will easily be able to tell the story from the pictures alone (NARRATIVE SKILLS)
HOW TO INTERACT WITH THE BOOK:
So much of building future readers is teaching and modeling to our children how to engage with the book. After you read the book, come up with a list of things you take to the beach. Then make another list of silly items you could take. This is a great way to build vocabulary as you share words you don’t normally use during the day in conversation with your child.
Talk about different instruments. Go online or find books at the library and explore instruments and their sounds. Sample music and if you have free concerts where you live take advantage of them and go to a concert. Talk about what you see there.
Make up your own silly beach tale using the list you made. Use the book as a template and help build reading comprehension and narrative skills through this story writing exercise.
Books you might also enjoy:
Today is Read Across America Day! If you have children in school you may have sent them in with a Dr. Seuss costume or their favorite book. You might have even signed up to read in a school read-a-thon. If your children aren’t yet at school that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun.
Celebrate the day at home!
Dr. Seuss is instrumental in everyone’s beginning reading life. What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book? Can you pick just one?
I remember learning to read with this book. The colors and the imaginative creatures along with the approachable text helped send me on my way to becoming a reader.
Or is this more your style?
Whatever your favorite Dr. Seuss book is pick up a copy today and share the love of reading with your child. Celebrate reading and the man who introduced so many children to fun, approachable books.
How to go further:
- Make up your own silly rhyme. One of my favorite aspects of Dr. Seuss books is how he plays with sound. No need for real words. Pick a sound and make up rhymes. Write them down on paper, write with window markers or if it’s a nice day take it outside and decorate the sidewalk with your lyrical rhymes.
- Create a creature and tell a story about him or her! Dr. Seuss always had fun characters to compliment the text. While the child reading learned to sound out and hear the sounds they also had fun. Create a creature with your child out of old magazines, markers, or whatever you have around the house.
- Make Dr. Seuss hats. No Read Across America day is complete without the Red and White striped hat. Make it out of paper, put it on your head and throw a birthday party to celebrate.
- Look at the Read Across America website. There are lots of great printables you can share with your child. Most our geared towards older school age children, but find some that can be adapted to fit your child’s development.
- Invite friends over and have a reading party. Break out the bean bag chairs and pillows. Have a snack and a pile of books and read!
- Visit your local library or bookstore. Most places will celebrate the day. Check your local reading center and see what fun they have planned.
How will you celebrate today? Share in the comments below!
The above Seuss graphics will take you to Amazon. I am an affiliate and if you purchase from Amazon I make a small profit that goes to paying for our family’s reading habit.
Read to your child every day is the mantra parents hear from the time they take their baby home from the hospital. Life is busy with kids and reading can get pushed down on the to do list with all the other things parents need to do.
Why is it so important to read to children starting at birth?
- Reading aloud changes the brain. The more kids are read to the brain center associated with learning to read is stimulated.
- Reading aloud builds language. Children learn to speak by example. Books are a great way to introduce unique language and sounds into every day speech patterns.
- Reading aloud makes books fun. But it also connects the parent and child deeper and can aid children in times of stress.
- Reading aloud creates strong students. Infant and toddler brains explode with growth in the first 2000 days of life. The more exposure to language, sound, materials, and learning they have the more prepared they are when it comes time to enter school. Children practices all sorts of skills when they are read to.
Importance of reading aloud. Reach out and Read article retrieved March 1, 2016 from http://www.reachoutandread.org/why-we-work/importance-of-reading-aloud/
Reading with your children starting at birth is more than just hearing the story. It changes the brain, helps children bond with parents and sets them up for future school success. Just 15 minutes a day is a great start to ensure your children have the tools they need when they enter the school world. March is read aloud month. Pledge to make reading a priority in your family and help spread the word by sharing a picture of you and your child reading with the hashtag #readaloud.
For more information on the importance of reading and brain development check out these websites.
First 2000 Days
Reading With Your Child