Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Need Your Help!

Now I need your help–in the form of ideas. I am working on a book for parents with tips for reading to their preschoolers. So I am collecting ideas for the book. If you have any suggestions for ways you have enjoyed reading with your children, please share them wth me. Also, if you have any favorite books for young children, please let me know the names and authors. I will acknowledge you in my book!


  1. Books are a big part of my toddler's life.
    I have teens and then became a teaching assistant which gave me an understanding of how children learn to read.
    Although my older children loved books too, my toddler is obsessed and I do wonder if it has anything to do with the approach we took to books this time around.

    He is starting to use the potty and actually asks for a book. Books always go in his bag when we go out anywhere.
    I have always bought books as a treat rather than a toy or sweets. I don't feel guilty that they are being spoilt this way.

    The youngest had board books from birth. As soon as he could see he was shown the bright pics and as soon as he could hold toys he was given books to hold. They are never too young to be introduce to books.

    I believe that books should be ability appropriate otherwise the child will lose interest.

    I am waffling :)


  2. Thanks so much, Carol! These ideas are really helpful. And I agree with them all wholeheartedly.


  3. Stopping by from Bloggy Moms and am your newest follower. Hope to see you by my blog too.
    I have 4 blogs, you can follow all 4 or pick the one(s) that best suits you.
    Twitter: tawna6988


  4. Emma liked to draw her own illustrations for whatever book she was reading. For her favorites she would sometimes print out the entire text!

  5. No real tips, but I love the idea and I just read, read, son doesn't always have the patience for a real story, so I make up as we go, as long as he is asking what is this, what is that and how does it work! We talk about what color something is, is it on top, under, etc- anything that helps him feel engaged, even if we aren't really reading the story!

  6. Hi, Madeline!

    I have a favorite book to share with you - but I'm not sure if it's for preschoolers. It might be for children just a little bit older. I can't remember when I started reading it to my kids. Anyway, it's a classic: "The Tawny Scrawny Lion," by Kathryn Jackson. You might know it - about the lion who could never get enough to eat until he was befriended by the little rabbit who introduced him to carrot stew - and friendship.

    (My kids thought it was FASCINATING that it was first published way back in 1952, you know, when the world was flat). Anyway, it is such a cute little story: "Once there was a tawny, scrawny, hungry lion who could never get enough to eat." The cadence is so smooth and the phrasing is so memorable - years after I first read it, I still remembered how the lion ends up "as fat as butter, as sleek as satin and as jolly as all get out."

    My daughter always loved it as a bedtime story, so I tested it out on my far less patient son, and he loved it, too. There are so many characters and so many opportunties to use different voices and explain different things (like the herbs used in the stew).

    Actually, I don't know who enjoys reading it more - the kids or me!!

    Diane Majeske

  7. Being the mama to two little boys, I'm always on the lookout for books about trucks and cars. Oddly enough, they aren't as easy to find as you would think.

    One other thought to share...durable pages! :-)

  8. Thanks to you all for these comments and tips. I would like to be able to reply to each one but Blogger does not seem to allow this–or perhaps I just haven't figured out how to do it.

    I wish each of you a very Happy thanksgiving!

  9. Madeline, My son is all grown up, but I read to him all the time when he was a child. He was considered "learning disabled" and had to go to Special Ed all through school. He managed to graduate, but he has never been able to read or write very well. He is now 40 and he came to stay with us for awhile and since we do not have television, he got his own laptop and you know what he started doing? Learning to read and write! He is on FaceBook and he talks to his friends and has been learning what he never could do before. He had to need it. I never got tired of him asking me how to spell something. He tried to do it on his own a lot.

  10. Good for you Madeline! I've thought of doing this myself. I've jotted down a few notes. Good luck to you. Feel free to look around my blog for ideas.
    Your writing on this blog has always been clear and straight forward. You'll do a great job.

  11. My son and daughter enjoy Bible stories, which we both read and act out. They love these times when we also talk about the message behind the story.
    Also a new follower.

    Lisa xx

  12. this is awesome! What a great resource. I'm definitely following!

  13. What an awesome idea for a blog and book! As a former first grade teacher, I know how important reading is for children. As a stay-at-home mom to four, I have many favorite books, but if I had to pick one, it would be "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" by Judith Viorst. It is sure to turn whining into giggling!
    My greatest pride as a mom is that our older boys (ages 12 and 10) prefer reading to computer and video games!
    jeri @

  14. I've always allowed my children to choose the books we purchase. Their favorite book is Veggie Tales "God Made You Special." My five-year-old has it memorized. They both enjoy and love the book because of the soft touch, noises, music and interactive pieces of the book.

  15. When reading to my children, I usually follow the words with my finger as I read. I don't read often enough to them, unfortunately. Anyway, my father told me that he and my mother used this technique with me from the day I was born. It worked with me; I could read the newspaper before I began school.

  16. Ish - an excellent book! One of my faves. I also have some great adoption books listed on my site that we bought for one of my daughters when she came home.

    Following from the blog hop...great site!

  17. Hi Madeline:

    I work with your daughter and since I am a mother of a toddler, she shared your blog with me. What a great resource!

    To help you with your research, here are some of our favorite books and authors that we like to read with our 2-1/2 year old daughter:

    • Theo. LeSieg, “Ten Apples Up On Top” (We have an antique copy that belonged to my husband when he was a child and it was his favorite book. Not seeing a recent edition, we had no idea until recently that LeSieg is actually Dr. Seuss writing under a penname.)
    • Mo Willems, especially anything in the Pigeon line: “Pigeon Wants A Puppy,” “Pigeons Have Feelings, Too” and “Pigeon Wants To Stay Up Late.” (Last year, she was really interested in penguins so we got her a number of books about that animal, too.)
    • Anna Dewdney, “Llama, Llama Misses Mama” is a new favorite and was introduced to us by her preschool teacher as it is great for introducing the concept of separation. She requests to read it with her teacher after I drop her off at school so we ordered a copy for home, too!

    “Brown Bear” by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle is great for teaching colors and we learned that from a friend who teaches art to toddlers who gave it to her as a gift. If you know this book, when the children are at the end of “Brown Bear” she likes to point to different figures and name people she s actually knows. Her playmates, babysitter and parents, and sometimes herself are woven into the story.

    In general, we like to read the name of the author and illustrator of each book and she now recognizes several familiar names when we look at books at the bookstore or library. She also likes that we wrote her own name in “Ten Apples” just like her Dad’s at the beginning of the book.

    At bedtime, I especially like to read the books that end with a duck or a bunny going to sleep such as “Seymour and Henry” by Kim Lewis or “Goodnight Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown. ☺

    Hope this is helpful!

    Sincerely, Erin

  18. Well, my little girls is 3 and she just loves books that are also movies, (snow white, cinderella, the secret garden) I am not sure what it is about being able to watch the movie, then have me read her the book. She just loves it! With the smaller picture books, I do what my mother did with me... I read it first, then have her "read" threw it in her way. I think it helps her memory and also lets her imagination fly!

  19. I'm always really animated when I read using different voices & expressions for different characters. My little one thinks I'm hysterical & always ends up cracking up. I also don't just "read" the words in the story we talk about it as we read, look at the pictures and I ask her to point things out to me.



What I think . . .

There are all kinds of readers. Some—like my daughter and me—are never without a book to read for pleasure. Others—like my son—are careful, analytical, and curious readers who read primarily to seek information from the page.

No matter what kind of reader your child becomes, you can help him or her get started. After all, you are your child’s first teacher. And, best of all, you can have some fun in the process.

Please feel free to share your own ideas. Tell me about ways you've enjoyed reading with your child.

Madeline Boskey, Ph.D.