Hi Guys! Today, I wanted to write another post on something that is near and dear to my heart – children’s literature. My readers know how much I loved reading as a child. It is quite unfortunate that I don’t find myself in many reading opportunities now because of not having enough time and having a long to-do list. That’s why it is so imperative that children have reading time set aside throughout the day. This is the time when they can unwind, relax, learn, and make connections with stories that apply to their own lives and their world.
I was an imaginative child, as mentioned before, so reading and writing came naturally to me. No one told me to read (doing math was another story though; lol), but there were many mentors like my mom, my 1st/2nd grade teacher, and numerous other teachers who inculcated the love of reading by teaching me that reading is not just understanding words, but connecting the words to pictures in the book; connecting them to yourself; and connecting them to the world. The funny part is I would ask my teachers to pretend to be characters in books I loved. Some would go around talking to me and other students in funny voices the whole school day. And we all loved it. The only time they didn’t listen was when I told them to act like any character from Disney’s Alice in the Wonderland because it wasn’t a book. Strict, yes, but that’s how I learned to love reading.
Another fun part about reading and school were those older friends from middle school and high school who loved visiting me. I knew I was cherished and I made sure I had stories to tell them. Yes, I was a bit of a charmer.
One literature-related conversation I remember having was with Maliha Talib Aziz (I am sure there were many others). She came to my classroom after school and I remember she made a voice and said she was starting a Jane Austen club. I was so nervous and scared because I never heard such a voice before. She continued by saying that since I ask teachers to make character noises, it is perfectly fine for me to ask the same of her. I asked her as if I was on the show Sesame Street, who Jane Austen was. She and Khadijah Shah, who was already part of the group… obviously, told me that Jane Austen was an English author who wrote about English society and had tea parties. Then they laughed. I understood little about what they said, but I understood that Jane Austen was English. In return, I told them about Enid Blyton… “my favorite English author” I said. And they teasingly asked which English authors did I read. And I couldn’t answer them because basically I just read Enid Blyton on my own. My teacher, who was working in the background intervened and said the three of us are trouble and that I cannot be part of their Jane Austen group. And thus, I never read Jane Austen until college!
The Book-Themed Shower
I know that when I start having children I want to do a book-themed birthday party for them or have someone throw a book-themed baby shower for me when I am pregnant. Many parents exactly know how to prepare for their baby’s registry, but very few consider books as gift options. For starters, you can look at a previous post HERE for ideas.
Today, I have selected popular books for children aged 0 to 7 years old. The reason for covering such a vast age group is because some children read more advance level books quicker so it is nice to have a variety of reading levels in your registry because you cannot predict what and how your child will read. Here are a few suggestions:
Starting 0 – 1-Year-Old
To teach them reading, you must teach them to love reading. This is the time when environmental prints play a huge part in their development. You see those parents write index cards and post them around their house or a room to teach their baby some common sight words such as chair, sofa, etc. Others go out and point to anything written they find. Be it a sign on a restaurant, a door, or even a street sign.
The goal for them is to be fascinated with the world around them and improve their focus and concentration skills. Squishy books with a lot of textures, flaps, sounds, and mirrors are great. Believe me, if you can get one observation out of them during this age, it will be a miracle!
- Pantone: Colors (See HERE)
- Baby Faces (See HERE)
- Lamaze Peek-a- Boo Forest (See HERE)
- My First I See You: A Mirror Book (See HERE)
- First Words (See HERE)
Starting Ages 1 or 2 – 3 Years Old
Really young children love repetition. It gives them a sense of control and it is hilarious. Whether it is repeating numbers or words, they love predictability. And sigh… yes they love reading the same book over and over again. Make sure to make the reading fun for yourself 🙂 by interacting with them a little. Pause a little longer, tell them to look at interesting pictures, or make a mistake in reading a word. You will learn so much about your child during these times.
- Count My Kisses, Little One (See HERE)
- How Do Dinosaurs Count To Ten? (See HERE)
- The Rainbow Fish (See HERE)
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar (See HERE)
- Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed (See HERE)
Starting Ages 4 – 6
By this age, kids have fully developed their eyes and can recognize different colors and feel excited (not overwhelmed). They should also know their letters by now. They will not be reading fully on their own so please expect to set aside some time to read with them daily.
A rhyming book full of illustrations is wonderful for this age group because it keeps them entertained and makes learning fun. They need you to ask them questions, point to interesting words or pictures and make voices if they demand. If you want to make a personal connection to the story, try it, but they will not respond fully the first time.
- Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin (See HERE)
- Song And Dance Man (See HERE)
- My Grandfather’s Coat (See HERE)
- The Hello, Goodbye Window (See HERE)
- Corduroy (See HERE)
Starting Ages 6-7
Around this time, the split between independent readers and those requiring help with reading occurs. The split occurs when parents do or don’t provide their child/children with plenty of at-home reading opportunities. You will find in this age group, children excelling in reading and curling up with their favorite book in their room, and others who require you to chase them down with a book in hand. They should be in school and already have a vast vocabulary and word recognition capability in their tool belt.
Providing them with fun books appropriate for their reading level (ask their teacher about their reading level) is great for getting them to read independently.
- Yo! Yes? (See HERE)
- The Snowy Day (See HERE)
- Coming On Home Soon (See HERE)
- Swimmy (See HERE)
- Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type (See HERE)