Creating a family of readers is the first step to building a community of readers -- and ultimately a nation of readers. Here's some titles that we think are great beginnings. Access to books is an important element in creating readers. Visit your local library and make sure every family member has a library card -- it is a ticket to a lifetime of experiences.
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- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr, with illustrations by Eric Carle (Henry Holt & Co; ISBN: 978-0-312-50926-2) -- over 7 million copies of this title have been sold since it's first publication in 1967. It is available in hardback, paperback, with or without a CD, in e-book format, in a first reader edition -- and dozens of other variations. This favored edition is a large board book with an interactive (and very sturdy window) that slides back to reveal the next animal seen. This interactive board book was created for Henry Holt and Co. by PriddyBooks and is based on the revised illustrations from the 1992 anniversary edition.
- Polar Bear, PolarBear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr, with illustrations by Eric Carle (Henry Holt & Co; ISBN: 978-0-312-51346-7) was originally published in the late 1960s. This book has gone through a number of variations of editions including this Priddy book edition based on the 1991 anniversary edition of Martin/Carle's popular title. This interactive edition has large buttons along the pages' side which, when pressed, share the animal sounds.
- The book Pryor choose to stretch (from the sofa) and remove from the shelf is a 2013 offering - one that might well become a classic. When Lions Roar by Robie H. Harris, with pictures by Chris Raschka. (Scholastic/Orchard, 2013; ISBN 978-0-545-11283-3). This comforting picture book is both scary and comforting at the same time. The illustrations are just right with its free-flowing watercolors filled with emotion and bold energy.
- When he approached the shelves and stretched to the third shelf, he was attempting to reach two other favorites.
Alphaprints: ABC with text by Sarah Powell with illustrations created with fingerprints. In this edition created for St. Martin's Press by Priddy Books (2013) the textured prints create a tactical experience for young readers. (ISBN: 978-0-312-51646-8); and,
Nursery Rhymes with text by Louise Shrigley. This edition, created for St. Martin's Press by Priddy Books (2006), includes a melodious CD that recites favorite nursery rhymes including our favorites: This little piggy, and Pat-a-cake-pat-a-cake. (ISBN: 978-0-312-49808-5)
And while this book is not really intended for baby - the text is certainly a fun one for the baby's parent(s). Txtng Mama Txtng Baby by Esther Hershenhorn (Sleeping Bear Press, 2013; ISBN: 978-1-58536-887-7).The format and size of this board book fits nicely in the hands of a very young toddler and as Mama is txtng - baby is occupied. A charming book that ends (on the back cover) with this "No matter how the message is delivered (by book or phone or both!), Mama♥ Baby.
The text is very child friendly and a fun reminder to parents that there are special phrases that delight young learners. This is a perfect gift at a baby shower, in a new baby gift basket, and just for fun for any tech savvy parent of a young toddler -- or a special txtng aunt or uncle. Better yet, perhaps Hershenhorn (and her publisher) will consider some follow-up titles: Txtng Papa Txtng Baby; and special titles for aunties and uncles -- how much fun that would be?
A child is never too young and never too old to read aloud with; make sure even those that enter into the "read alone" stage are being read to regularly. Reading aloud to a young listener reaps rewards in building reading fluency, vocabulary, and overall interest and curiosity for learning. Check out the Read Aloud initiative at http://www.readaloud.org/importance.html.
Read alouds are for all ages - we invite comments to this blog entry with YOUR favorite book to share/read aloud to any age learner. Please share.