With all the demands and distractions in our busy lives, finding time to encourage the love of reading in our children can be a challenge. This month we introduce a short series of tips on finding the right book for your child, making time to read, and using thoughtful questions to grow a reader. Whether reading aloud to your younger child, interactively reading with an emerging reader or reading side-by-side with your older child, check out these tips for some helpful advice.
How can I find just the right book to engage my child?
- Read the book before you see the movie!
- When it’s gift-giving time, buy the first book of a series and then borrow the rest from the school and public library.
- To engage your older child, read the first chapter of a book aloud and then encourage them to finish on their own.
- Ask your child about the class author of the month and find additional books by that author
- Nonfiction reading is not only entertaining but important in developing reading strategies. It’s okay to read yet another book about dinosaurs!
- Reading is reading. Magazines, comics, and the increasingly popular graphic novels all build fluency and comprehension.
- Ask for help: Your child’s teacher, librarian, public librarian and local booksellers have a wealth of knowledge about children’s literature.
- Investigate on your own: Reading Rockets is a great website with tips and booklists for children of all ages.
- And speaking of all ages, picture books are ageless. As my mentor Esme Raji Codell says in her book How to Get Your Child to Love Reading, “An excellent picture book can model the highest forms of narrative and visual art and also offer multicultural perspectives.”
Old Man of the Sea
By Stella Elia
Illustrated by Weberson Santiago
This beautiful picture book for ages 4-8, is the tale of a young boy who visits his grandfather in his room on Sunday afternoons. In the beginning, they just sit. Then, Grandpa tells his grandson the stories of the times he spent at sea. He tells his grandson about falling in love with Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania but how he always came back the beautiful calm blue ocean. Then, Grandpa found America and found true love and married and made a family. It ends with sage advice and lots of love. This Brazilian story is perfectly illustrated with watercolor on paper by Weberson Santiago, a noted illustrator. This is a great read-aloud.
How Can I Encourage My Child to Jump into Summer Reading?
Did you know, a great way to support your child’s summer reading practice is to let them choose their own books? Children and teens who choose their own books are more likely to find books they love, and people who read books they love are more likely to become lifelong readers.
We have a marvelous universe of books available for summer reading in the Children’s Room at RFL! Browse our picture books, early readers, graphic novels, chapter book series, and top-notch fiction and nonfiction books. Need a launchpad, a place to start? Look for our READ MORE Rhode Island Children’s Book Award displays. The RICBA is a children’s choice award. Each year students in grades 3 to 5 vote on their favorite book from a ballot of 20 selections nominated by a panel of librarians, reading specialists and teachers. Likewise, the Rhode Island Middle School Book Award winner is chosen each year by students in grades 6 to 8. So, if we’ve marked a book with a RIMSBA sticker or RICBA sticker, you’ll know it’s a stellar choice for summer reading!
And if you really don’t know where to start, our library staff can recommend excellent books and proven authors for kids who would rather do anything other than read this summer – and for kids who would rather read than do anything else!
Big thanks to staff member Kristen Q for this great advice!
Check out the StoryWalk our Outreach Librarian NANCY set up today! We love this book!
What fun! Check out Eleanor Hanson of the Potter League and Richard Kloss, Potter League volunteer, with his dog Skipper, visiting Mrs. Glass’ and Mrs. Kirwin’s classes at Guiteras School in the Reading Fur Fun Finale!
Here is our mascot Nibbles enjoying the artwork by all the children.
Lego building is not just for fun. Lego building helps children with motor skills and critical thinking among other important skills!
Check out this article about Lego building.
We have some very talented children in our Lego club. Their designs are currently on display in the children’s room. Don’t miss them!