Singing helps your child get ready to read. Singing helps children remember things for a longer time.
Retelling favorite stories you have read, or even retelling your own family stories is a great way to develop a child’s narrative skills. Talk with your child and see what stories they tell!
Nikki & Deja by Karen English
If your daughter is a reader who likes series, then the Nikki & Deja books may be perfect for her. Next door neighbors and best friends, the stories revolve around the girls’ third grade classroom and other real life situations, like braiding hair, forming clubs, seeing their teacher at the store, and dealing with everyday feelings.
The five books can be read in any order without losing anything, so there is no reason not to jump right in. I read the newest book called Wedding Drama, and felt satisfaction at the sensible and loving solutions that Auntie Dee provides for Deja, (although I was somewhat surprised that a teacher would hold a drawing for invitations to the wedding!. I suppose that’s how reading can open your mind to possibilities that you may have never considered.) Nikki and Deja are African-American characters, which is a notable feature in series fiction.
Nikki and Deja are on the Beginning Chapter Books list on Kids’ Brain. I also wanted to find similar books that included African-American girl characters, so I used Novelist. Once you click on the link, and enter your barcode, Novelist is a great resource for book lists by genre and age!
Play helps build a child’s self confidence. When they feel a sense of accomplishment they have the motivation to try new experiences and not give up even though something at first seems to be difficult. Play is one of the five essential elements of early literacy.
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
First published in 1908, The Wind in the Willows is considered a classic. I think what makes it special is its appeal to different ages at different places in the story. It’s a book that you can return to time and again and still enjoy. A proficient reader can read it independently, or it serves as a perfect read-aloud or shared story.
The tone is comforting and I curled up on the couch and thoroughly lost myself in the sounds of the river. I read an edition illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard, whose illustrations of Toad dressed as the washerwoman made me laugh out loud. What an insufferable, yet somehow loveable character Toad is!
Don’t be afraid to sing with your child. They will love the sound of your voice! Singing slows language down so that separate sounds are more clearly heard. Singing is also one of the five essential elements that help your child get ready to read. So, sing out and share language with your child.
An essential element to early literacy is reading with your child. How easy is that? And to make it easier, we are offering a book giveaway of a cute board book by Bettina Paterson called Jigsaw Jungle. Five rhymes feature a baby animal and mother, accompanied by a jigsaw puzzle picture!
To enter the giveaway, send an email to email@example.com with “Read Every Day,” in the subject line, and your email and phone number in the body of the email. The winner must pick up the book at Harrington Library. We’ll hold a random drawing for the winner on Saturday, March 30.
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
If you want a deeply layered story with thoughtful characters, then this just might be the book for you! Navigating Early is also an adventure quest. It took a while for me to start piecing it all together, but I loved it and didn’t want it to end.
At the end of World War II, Jack’s mother has died, and his father decides to send him to a boarding school in Maine. It’s a strange new world compared to Kansas. At first he tries to fit in with the other boys, but he ends up retreating into a friendship with Early Auden. Early is different than the other boys (in today’s language he might be described as being on the autism spectrum). When the two end up alone at school, Jack goes along on the venture Early has planned to find pi and a great black bear on the Appalachian Trail. If you are a stargazer and a dreamer, you’ll love the many connections that Jack and Early make on their journey.
This is Vanderpool’s second novel. She won the Newbery Award for Moon over Manifest, which is another complex and worthwhile read.