Notable Children’s Books, Just in Time for the Holidays

Every year, the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best in children’s books. The list is generated based on certain criteria—worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding—and includes “books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children’s interests in exemplary ways,” according to the ALSC website. Additionally, Newbery, Caldecott, Belpré, Sibert, Geisel, and Batchelder Award and Honor books automatically are added to the Notable Children’s Books list.

Just in time for your gift-giving consideration, here is a list of the 2017 Notable Children’s Books. For more information about these book, click here.


YOUNGER READERS
Preschool-grade 2 (age 7), including easy-to-read books

Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: The First Computer Programmer, Diane Stanley
Ada Twist, Scientist, Andrea Beaty
Before Morning, Joyce Sidman
Best Frints in the Whole Universe, Antoinette Portis
Counting, Fleur Star
Coyote Moon, Maria Gianferrari
Fabulous Frogs, Martin Jenkins
Go, Otto, Go! , David Milgrim
Good Night Owl,
Greg Pizzoli
The Great Pet Escape,
Victoria Jamieson
Horrible Bear!
Ame Dyckman
A Hungry Lion; or, A Dwindling Assortment of Animals,
Lucy Ruth Cummins
The Infamous Ratsos,
Kara LaReau
Leave Me Alone!
Vera Brosgol
The Night Gardener,
Terry Fan
Old Dog Baby Baby,
Julie Fogliano
Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run! An Alphabet Caper,
Mike Twohy
Over the Ocean,
Taro Gomi
A Piece of Home,
Jeri Watts
Puddle,
Hyewon Yum
Rudas: Niño’s Horrendous Hermanitas,
Yuyi Morales
School’s First Day of School,
Adam Rex
Thunder Boy Jr,
Sherman Alexie
We Found a Hat,
Jon Klassen
Weekends with Max and His Dad,
Linda Urban
When Andy Met Sandy,
Tomie dePaola and Jim Lewis
Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln?
Kate DiCamillo


MIDDLE READERS
Grades 3-5, ages 8-10

The Best Man, Richard Peck
Dory Fantasmagory: Dory Dory Black Sheep, Abby Hanlon
Full of Beans, Jennifer L. Holm
Frank and Lucky Get Schooled, Lynne Rae Perkins
The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Kelly Barnhill
I Am Not a Number, Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark, Debbie Levy
Juana & Lucas, Juana Medina
Ms. Bixby’s Last Day, John David Anderson
Pax, Sara Pennypacker
A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day, Andrea Davis Pinkney
Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis, Jabari Asim
The Princess and the Warrior, Duncan Tonatiuh
Raymie Nightingale, Kate DiCamillo
The Secret Keepers, Trenton Lee Stewart.
The Sound of Silence, Katrina Goldsaito
Steamboat School, Deborah Hopkinson
Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World about Kindness, Donna Janell Bowman
The Storyteller, Evan Turk
The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk, Jan Thornhill
A Voyage in the Clouds: The (Mostly) True Story of the First International Flight by Balloon in 1785, Matthew Olshan
Wet Cement, Bob Raczka
When Mischief Came to Town, Katrina Nannestad
When the Sea Turned to Silver, Grace Lin
The Wild Robot, Peter Brown


OLDER READERS
Grades 6-8, ages 11-14

As Brave As You, Jason Reynolds
The Ballad of a Broken Nose, Arne Svingen. Tr, Kari Dickson
The Bitter Side of Sweet, Tara Sullivan. Putnam.
Blood Brother: Jonathan Daniels and His Sacrifice for Civil Rights, Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace
Booked, Kwame Alexander
Brown v. Board of Education: A Fight for Simple Justice, Susan Goldman Rubin
Cloud and Wallfish, Anne Nesbet
Cry, Heart, but Never Break, Glenn Ringtved
Garvey’s Choice, Nikki Grimes
Ghost, Jason Reynolds
In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives, Kenneth C. Davis
The Inquisitor’s Tale; or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog, Adam Gidwitz
The Lie Tree, Frances Hardinge
Lowriders to the Center of the Earth, Cathy Camper
March: Book Three, John Lewis and Andrew Aydin
The Only Road, Alexandra Diaz
Presenting Buffalo Bill: The Man Who Invented the Wild West, Candace Fleming
Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story, Caren Stelson
Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune, Pamela S. Turner
To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party, Skila Brown
Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience during World War II, Albert Marrin
We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler, Russell Freedman
What Elephants Know, Eric Dinerstein
Wolf Hollow, Lauren Wolk
The Wolf’s Boy, Susan Williams Beckhorn
You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen, Carole Boston Weatherford


ALL AGES
Has appeal and interest for children in all of the above age ranges

Animals by the Numbers: A Book of Infographics, Steve Jenkins
As Time Went By, Jose Sanabria
Daniel Finds a Poem, Micha Archer
Du Iz Tak? Carson Ellis
Esquivel! Space-Age Sound Artist,
Susan Wood
Freedom in Congo Square,
Carole Boston Weatherford
Freedom over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan,
Ashley Bryan
Giant Squid,
Candace Fleming
Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph,
Roxane Orgill
The Journey,
Francesca Sanna
Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood,
F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell
¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! / Olinguito, from A to Z! Descubriendo el bosque nublado / Unveiling the Cloud Forest,
Lulu Delacre
Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat,
Javaka Steptoe
Some Writer! The Story of E. B. White,
Melissa Sweet
Somos como las nubes / We Are Like the Clouds,
Jorge Argueta
They All Saw a Cat,
Brendan Wenzel
The Water Princess,
Susan Verde and Georgie Badiel
When Green Becomes Tomatoes,
Julie Fogliano

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Recommended Reading: Books to Build Character & Teach Your Child Important Values

By Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, FAAP

​In today’s world, children and teens are bombarded with conflicting, ever-shifting standards of ethics and morality. At the same time, you are trying to teach and instill good values at home. Fortunately, a really great book has the power to counterbalance these outside influences and teach children important lessons as they grow.

It might be a book on kindness after your child experienced or witnessed cruelty. It might be a book on expressing emotions after your child s​aw or heard scary news coverage, or maybe a book on understanding differences after your child saw someone who looked differently than they do.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Reach Out and Read have compiled the following list of books — organized by age and topic—to help you raise children who are aware of the world around them, curious, brave, kind, and thoughtful. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to review these titles in advance of sharing them with their children.

Then read together! Books are great conversation starters that can give you an opportunity to talk to your children about these issues and help them learn and understand your family’s values.

Books to Teach Kindness
Teaching kindness to children is an important skill to build and reinforce at all ages. Young children can learn how small acts of kindness help and please others, but teens can learn broader, larger concepts grounded in morals and ethics.

PRESCHOOLERS & EARLY GRADES
Stand​ in My Shoes: Kids Learning About Empathy, by Bob Sornson; illustrated by Shelley Johannes
Those Shoes, by Maribeth Boelts, illustrated by Noah Z. Jones
Kindness is Cooler, Mrs Ruler, by Margery Cuyler, illustrated by Sachiko Yoshikawa
What Does It Mean To Be Kind?, by Rana DiOrio, illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch
Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed, by Emily Pearson, illustrated by Fumi Kosaka
Each Kindness, by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis
The Invisible Boy, by Trudy Ludwig, illustrated by Patrice Barton
Heartprints, by P.K. Hallinan

MIDDLE GRADES
Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White, illustrated by Garth Williams
Wonder, by RJ Palacio
Kindness: A Treasury of Buddhist Wisdom for Children and Parents, by Sarah Conover and Valerie Wahl

TEENS
Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
Rules, by Cynthia Lord

Books About Expressing Emotions
Children may see anger, sadness, and loss in parents and other adults in their lives and be uncertain how to respond. Younger children may have difficulty naming their emotions, but find it easier to identify with a character in a book. Older children may have difficulty sorting through complex feelings and worry about burdening adults who are struggling themselves. Books can help children process, clarify, and put a name to their feelings.

PRESCHOOLERS & EARLY GRADES
Moody Cow Meditates, by Kerry Lee MacLean
That’s How I Feel (Asi Me Siento), by Rourke Publishing
Have you Filled a Bucket Today?, by Carol McCloud, illustrated by David Messing
What if Everybody Did That?, by Ellen Javernick, illustrated by Colleen M. Madden
I Was So Mad, by Mercer Mayer
Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners, by Laurie Keller
My Many Colored Days, by Dr Seuss

MIDDLE GRADES
Michael Rosen’s Sad Book, by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Quentin Blake
Queenie Peavy, by Robert Burch

TEENS
Don’t Let Your Emotions Run Your Life for Teens, by Sheri Van Dijk
A Still Quiet Place: A Mindfulness Program for Teaching Children and Adolescents to Ease Stress and Difficult Emotions, by Amy Saltzman MD
Learning to Breathe: A Mindfulness Curriculum for Adolescents to Cultivate Emotion Regulation, Attention, and Performance, by Patricia Broderick PhD

Books About Bullying & Harassment
Bullying and harassment are difficult topics for everyone, and they are an increasing issue in schools across the country. It’s common for younger children to repeat language they’ve heard without understanding the implications of what they’re saying. Those who are harassed (or are worried about being harassed) may have strong fear and anxiety. Children who are bystanders may not know how to respond, particularly if they fear being bullied themselves.

PRESCHOOLERS & EARLY GRADES
Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes
The Hundred Dresses, by Eleanor Estes, Illustrated by Louis Slobodkin
Edwardo: the Horriblest Boy in the Whole Wide World, by John Burningham
Say Something, by Peggy Moss, Illustrated by Lea Lyon
Babymouse: Queen of the World, by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm
Bully B.E.A.N.S., by Julia Cook, Illustrated by Anita DuFalla
Confessions of a Former Bully, by Trudy Ludwig, Illustrated by Beth Adams

MIDDLE GRADES
Stitches, by Glen Huser
To This Day: For the Bullied and the Beautiful, by Shane Koyczan
Understanding Buddy, by Marc Kornblatt
Loser, by Jerry Spinelli
Veronica Ganz, by Marilyn Sachs
Blubber, by Judy Blume

TEENS
Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories, by Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones
Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
Freak Show, by James St James
Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli
7 Days at the Hot Corner, by Terry Trueman

Books on Listening to Others’ Views
Learning how to listen well and respect different views are important life skills. While younger children find it difficult to take the perspective of others, they gain that ability over time. Older children may become great debaters—especially with their parents. Books can offer models for engaging with others who have different views in a respectful and productive manner.

PRESCHOOLERS & EARLY GRADES
When Sophie’s Feelings Are Really, Really Hurt, by Molly Bang
I’m the Best, by Lucy Cousins
Chocolate Milk, Por Favor, by Maria Dismondy, illustrated by Donna Farrell
The Sandwich Swap, by Queen Rania of Jordan & Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Tricia Tusa
Junkyard Wonders, by Patricia Polacco
The Conquerers, by David McKee

MIDDLE GRADES
Zero Tolerance, by Claudia Mills
The Cat at the Wall, by Deborah Ellis
The Three Questions, by Jon Muth

ADOLESCENTS
This Side of Home, by Renee Watson

Books About Respecting Differences
Children are naturally curious about others (particularly other children) who fall into groups other than their own. Think of your child’s curiosity as an opportunity to teach him or her about respecting these differences. Remember, in order to raise kids to embrace diversity, you’ll need to give them access to a variety of different cultures and traditions—books are a great way to do that!

PRESCHOOLERS & EARLY GRADES
I Like Myself!, by Karen Beaumont, Illustrated by David Catrow
Red: A Crayon’s Story, by Michael Hall
Giraffes Can’t Dance, by Giles Andreae, Illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees
Strictly No Elephants, by Lisa Mantchev, Illustrated by Taeeun Yoo
Two Speckled Eggs, by Jennifer K. Mann
Willow, by Denise Brennan-Nelson and Rosemarie Brennan, Illustrated by Cyd Moore

MIDDLE GRADES
Out of My Mind, by Sharon M. Draper
Inside Out and Back Again, by Thanhha Lai
The Ordinary Princess, by M. M. Kaye

Books on Social Change & Civic Engagement
Many children are drawn to helping others—even at young ages. Maybe it is raising money for a cause or having a passion for issue impacting their community. Books can help them understand the broader concepts of social justice and civic engagement. Younger children tend to thinking of things as “good vs. bad,” but as they get older they develop very sophisticated and nuanced moral reasoning.

PRESCHOOLERS & EARLY GRADES
Grace for President, by Kelly DiPucchio, Illustrated by LeUyen Pham
A Chair for My Mother, by Vera B. Williams
Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation, by Edwidge Danticat, Illustrated by Leslie Staub
House Mouse, Senate Mouse, by Peter W. Barnes and Cheryl Shaw Barnes
Being Me, by Rosemary McCarney, Illustrated by Yvonne Cathcart

MIDDLE GRADES
Zero Tolerance, by Claudia Mills
Paper Things, by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
The Kid’s Guide to Social Action, by Barbara A. Lewis
Hoot, by Carl Hiaasen
The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier

TEENS
The Great Greene Heist, by Varian Johnson
The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
The Plain Janes, by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg
Samir and Yonatan, by Daniella Carmi
The Lions of Little Rock, by Kristin Levine
March: Book One, by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin


About Dr. Navsaria:
Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, FAAP is an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and is director of the MD–MPH program there. He practices primary care pediatrics at a federally-qualified health center in South Madison and is the founding medical director of Reach Out and Read Wisconsin. Dr. Navsaria regularly writes op-eds on health-related topics, does radio and television interviews, and frequently speaks locally, regionally and nationally on early brain and child development, early literacy, and advocacy to a broad variety of audiences. Follow him on Twitter @navsaria, Facebook, and visit his website http://www.navsaria.com. ​
​​
Editor’s Note: Our collective thanks to the following colleagues who also helped compose this list: Amy Shriver, MD, FAAP, Jenny Radesky, MD, FAAP, Perri Klass, MD, FAAP, Dina Joy Lieser, MD, FAAP, and the librarians at the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2016). The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.


Developmental Milestones of Early Literacy

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In the spirit of making both good eating and reading a part of every healthy childhood, the following is a quick book-related look at the well-defined developmental milestones of early literacy.

Younger Than 6 Months: Never Too Young
Unlike solid foods, it is never too early to start reading with your baby. Who cares if it’s the sports page or Elmo — it will be the time you share together that counts, so have fun with it!

6–12 Months: Developing a Taste for Books
Whatever babies are interested in at this age, they predictably put straight in their mouths. Books are no exception. Now that your baby can sit in your lap; grab for a book; and show her interest by batting at, turning, or gumming the pages, you’ll find yourself especially appreciative of board books for their drool-proof nature.

1–2 Years: Becoming Routine
As with food, your child will now figure out there’s a lot more she can do with books than just put them in her mouth. As she makes a point of holding them, turning them right-side up, and carrying them to you to read time after time, you can start relating what’s in her books to her real-life experiences—pointing to pictures and asking simple yet pointed questions like, “Where’s the pea? Can you find the pea?” Before you know it, she’ll be answering your questions, filling in the ends of each sentence, and reciting her VeggieTales back to you. As with meals, don’t expect a long attention span, since it’s the quality of the time spent that really matters, not the quantity.

2–3 Years: Read, Read, and Read Again
Two-year-olds thrive on routine and love to master the power of predictability, so don’t be surprised if yours is less than willing to try something new and instead wants to read the same story over and over (and over) again. If bedtime books have now become a habit—great! This is one habit you’ll never need to break.


Author Laura A. Jana, MD, FAAP and Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP. Last Updated 4/4/2012. Source Heading Home With Your Newborn, 2nd Edition (Copyright © 2010 American Academy of Pediatrics). The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

Give the Gift of Reading

holidayreading

Are you looking for some last minute gift ideas for the holidays? Give the gift of reading!

Each year a committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children’s books. According to the Notables Criteria, “notable” is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children’s books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children’s interests in exemplary ways.

• CLICK HERE for suggestions that include books for Younger Readers (Preschool-grade 2, age 7), Middle Readers (Grades 3-5, ages 8-10) Older Readers (Grades 6-8, ages 11-14) and All Ages.


Summer Reading!

summereading
The Association for Library Service to Children has announced its Summer Reading Lists for 2015.

The lists are full of book titles to keep children engaged in reading throughout the summer. Three Summer Reading book lists are available in PDF form for K-2nd, 3rd- 5th, and 6th-8th grade students. Titles were compiled and annotated by members of ALSC’s Quicklists Consulting Committee.

Happy Reading!

Kindergarten – 2nd Grade List

3rd through 5th Grade List

• 6th through 8th Grade List

Books Make Great Gifts!

A bedtime story

Actress Julie Andrews once said “Books make great gifts because they’re everybody’s favorite things.” Children, especially, love books—and there’s no better time of year than the holidays to select a great book for a loves one!

At a loss? Check out Huffington Post’s list of the 50 Of The Best Kids’ Books Published In The Last 25 Years. You might even find some of your old favorites to pass along to the children on your list!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. & John Archambault
The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Paul Galdone
Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
What Do You Do with a Kangaroo? by Mercer Mayer
If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Joffe Numeroff
Brave Irene by William Steig
The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
Good-Night, Owl! by Pat Hutchins
Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney & Anita Jeram
Noisy Nora by Rosemary Wells
Officer Buckle & Gloria by Peggy Rathmann
Time for Bed by Mem Fox
Falling Up by Shel Silverstein
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox
The Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Simms Taback
Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh
A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon
I Went Walking by Sue Williams
Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
Babyfaces: Smile! by Roberta Grobel Intrater
Olivia by Ian Falconer
Clip-Clop! by Nicola Smee
The Three Pigs by David Wiesner
Over in the Meadow by Ezra Jack Keats
Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson
Hush! A Thai Lullaby by Minfong Ho
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
Hug by Jez Alborough
Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes… by Annie Kubler
Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann & Elizabeth Kann
How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long
Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too? by Eric Carle
Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton
Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn
The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
Bunny My Honey by Anita Jeram
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin
Book! by Kristine O’Connell George
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
Eating the Rainbow: A Colorful Food Book by Rena D. Grossman
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
Lullaby Moon by Rosie Reeve
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
Little Owl’s Night by Divya Srinivasan

Developmental Milestones of Early Literacy

babyreading14

In the spirit of making both good eating and reading a part of every healthy childhood, the following is a quick book-related look at the well-defined developmental milestones of early literacy.

Younger Than 6 Months: Never Too Young
Unlike solid foods, it is never too early to start reading with your baby. Who cares if it’s the sports page or Elmo — it will be the time you share together that counts, so have fun with it!

6–12 Months: Developing a Taste for Books
Whatever babies are interested in at this age, they predictably put straight in their mouths. Books are no exception. Now that your baby can sit in your lap, grab for a book and show her interest by batting at, turning, or gumming the pages, you’ll find yourself especially appreciative of board books for their drool-proof nature.

1–2 Years: Becoming Routine
As with food, your child will now figure out there’s a lot more she can do with books than just put them in her mouth. As she makes a point of holding them, turning them right-side up, and carrying them to you to read time after time, you can start relating what’s in her books to her real-life experiences — pointing to pictures and asking simple yet pointed questions like, “Where’s the pea? Can you find the pea?” Before you know it, she’ll be answering your questions, filling in the ends of each sentence, and reciting her Veggie Tales back to you. As with meals, don’t expect a long attention span, since it’s the quality of the time spent that really matters, not the quantity.

2–3 Years: Read, Read, and Read Again
Two-year-olds thrive on routine and love to master the power of predictability, so don’t be surprised if yours is less than willing to try something new and instead wants to read the same story over and over (and over) again. If bedtime books have now become a habit — great! This is one habit you’ll never need to break.


Author Laura A. Jana, MD, FAAP and Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP. Last Updated 8/26/2013. Source Heading Home With Your Newborn, 2nd Edition (Copyright © 2010 American Academy of Pediatrics). The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

How can I help my child learn to read?

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Reading books aloud is one of the best ways you can help your child learn to read. This can be fun for you, too. The more excitement you show when you read a book, the more your child will enjoy it. The most important thing to remember is to let your child set her own pace and have fun at whatever she is doing. Do the following when reading to your child:

  • Run your finger under the words as you read to show your child that the print carries the story.
  • Use funny voices and animal noises. Do not be afraid to ham it up! This will help your child get excited about the story.
  • Stop to look at the pictures; ask your child to name things she sees in the pictures. Talk about how the pictures relate to the story.
  • Invite your child to join in whenever there is a repeated phrase in the text.
  • Show your child how events in the book are similar to events in your child’s life.
  • If your child asks a question, stop and answer it. The book may help your child express her thoughts and solve her own problems.
  • Keep reading to your child even after she learns to read. A child can listen and understand more difficult stories than she can read on her own.

Listening to Your Child Read Aloud

Once your child begins to read, have him read out loud. This can help build your child’s confidence in his ability to read and help him enjoy learning new skills. Take turns reading with your child to model more advanced reading skills.

If your child asks for help with a word, give it right away so that he does not lose the meaning of the story. Do not force your child to sound out the word. On the other hand, if your child wants to sound out a word, do not stop him.

If your child substitutes one word for another while reading, see if it makes sense. If your child uses the word “dog” instead of “pup,” for example, the meaning is the same. Do not stop the reading to correct him. If your child uses a word that makes no sense (such as “road” for “read”), ask him to read the sentence again because you are not sure you understand what has just been read. Recognize your child’s energy limits. Stop each session at or before the earliest signs of fatigue or frustration.

Most of all, make sure you give your child lots of praise! You are your child’s first, and most important, teacher. The praise and support you give your child as he learns to read will help him enjoy reading and learning even more.

Learning to Read in School

Most children learn to read by 6 or 7 years of age. Some children learn at 4 or 5 years of age. Even if a child has a head start, she may not stay ahead once school starts. The other students most likely will catch up during the second or third grade. Pushing your child to read before she is ready can get in the way of your child’s interest in learning. Children who really enjoy learning are more likely to do well in school. This love of learning cannot be forced.

As your child begins elementary school, she will begin her formal reading education. There are many ways to teach children to read. One way emphasizes word recognition and teaches children to understand a whole word’s meaning by how it is used. Learning which sounds the letters represent—phonics—is another way children learn to read. Phonics is used to help “decode” or sound out words. Focusing on the connections between the spoken and written word is another technique. Most teachers use a combination of methods to teach children how to read.

Reading is an important skill for children to learn. Most children learn to read without any major problems. Pushing a child to learn before she is ready can make learning to read frustrating. But reading together and playing games with books make reading fun. Parents need to be involved in their child’s learning. Encouraging a child’s love of learning will go a long way to ensuring success in school.

Reading Tips

The following are a few tips to keep in mind as your child learns to read:

  • Set aside time every day to read together. Many children like to have stories read to them at bedtime. This is a great way to wind down after a busy day and get ready for sleep.
  • Leave books in your child’s room for her to enjoy on her own. Make sure her room is reading-friendly with a comfortable bed or chair, bookshelf, and reading lamp.
  • Read books that your child enjoys. After a while, your child may learn the words to her favorite book. When this happens, let your child complete the sentences or take turns reciting the words.
  • Do not drill your child on letters, numbers, colors, shapes, or words. Instead, make a game out of it and find ways to encourage your child’s curiosity and interests.

Last Updated 5/11/2013. Source Helping Your Child Learn to Read (Copyright © 1999 American Academy of Pediatrics). The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

Summer Reading Challenge

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The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge is a free online program designed to motivate and excite your kids around reading books this summer. Kids can log the minutes they spend reading, earn virtual rewards and prizes, and enter sweepstakes, all in an effort to set a new reading world record for summer 2014!

This year’s Reading Challenge theme is “Reading Under the Stars.” Children ages 4 to 14 are encouraged to join in the fun, and you can sign them up on the Scholastic website. For more about the program,
read “Summer Challenge 101 for Parents.”

Then visit the Scholastic website, where you’ll find recommended reading, tips for getting your kids to read more, book reviews, videos, printable teaching materials and more!

How to Share Books with Your Preschooler

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Even children in preschool can enjoy books and learn from sharing books with you. Sharing books with your children can help them learn to talk better and get them ready to listen and learn in school.

Making Books A Part of Your Child’s Bedtime Routine
Set aside 20 to 30 minutes with the TV off for sharing books as part of your regular bedtime routine. Regular bedtime routines started when children are young help prevent future bedtime struggles. Teaching your children how to fall asleep alone by putting them in bed awake helps prevent future night wakings.

4 Year Olds Can:

  • Tell you which books they want to share with you.
  • Pretend to read a favorite book aloud to you.
  • Tell you how a story is like things they have seen or done.
  • Ask you questions about books you are enjoying together.
  • “Correct” you if you skip a word or page in a favorite book.
  • Tell you the story in a favorite book in their own words.

What Parents Can Do:

  • Find a quiet, comfortable place for book sharing.
  • Ask your child to tell you about the pictures and the story.
  • Respond with enthusiasm to your child’s questions and comments.
  • Ask your child to show you all the things in a picture that are alike in some way. You can say: “Can you find all the blue things?” or “Show me all the things that can fly.”
  • Point out colors, shapes, numbers and letters in their books.
  • Take your child to your local public library to borrow books or to enjoy Story Time.

Last Updated 5/11/2013. Source Committee on Early Childhood (Copyright © 1994 American Academy of Pediatrics). The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.