Laura-Leigh’s commencement of her reading journey in Kindergarten last year inspired me to write the following poem:
Every child should learn how to read
their inquisitive minds it does feed.
A letter, a word, a sentence a book
with each day be sure to take a look.
It's a great way to learn something new,
or to remind you of things you already knew.
The picture helps to tell the story,
it brings out the words in all their glory.
As you turn each page,
the words and pictures help to set the stage
of a wonderful story to be told,
of perhaps a sparkling world made of pure gold.
or perhaps of a land far far away
where one day you might stay.
Or of princesses, witches or dinosaurs
you can't help it as you scream out for more.
Books come in different shapes and sizes
and often packed full of surprises.
It's great to read anytime of day
You will find a book will always have something to say.
Reading especially helps you fall asleep at night
as to your dreams it adds delight.
It helps ideas form in your head
so you can have a mind full of adventures in your bed.
When you sound out the words it will make you feel so proud
You won't be able to control it, you shall holler out loud.
Everyday you will learn something new
You will know a lot of words in time not just a few.
Learning to read is such a big treat
Trying to achieve it is no mean feat.
It takes time to perfect
but then any book you may select.
It is important to read every day
you can learn a lot and have more to say.
Every day pick up a book,
The words are sure to grab you like a hook.
Adam’s Cloud Series written by Benji Barrett
Adam's Cloud is a series of books written by Benji Barrett, an Irishman, dedicated to the memory of his four year old son Adam who passed away in 2007 from a Brain tumour. My mother introduced me to this wonderful author by sending my kids over Benji’s first book entitled Before You Sleep which is a beautifully written book about not only love but laughter whilst encouraging parents to spend more time playing and expressing their love to their children by reading at bedtime and saying “I love you” before they go asleep. Since then my Mother has sent all of the books in this series which are not only fabulously written but educational. Jamie at two years old could tell you who invented electricity in addition to telling you about the Wright brothers. Pretty impressive stuff! It is true, they are sponges. I am a huge fan of these books and they are testament that Adam will never be forgotten. Click here for more information.
Self Esteem Books
It's so important to raise kids who understand other people's emotions, as well as their own. Raising kids whom not only love themselves but really like themselves is top of my agenda. Raising kids who are emotionally intelligent and take cognizance of others' feelings whilst being able to stand up for themselves is a key ingredient to becoming a good kid. Books can help relay these messages in a colourful simple way.
When I am Feeling Series by Trace Moroney
My son Jamie (4) like a lot of kids struggles with understanding his emotions. I turned to books to help me help him. There are eight books in total which cover the love, jealous, kind, lonely, sad, angry, scared and happy emotions. They are about both positive and negative emotions and beautifully written using a rabbit as the storyteller. My three kids love these books and identify with them. Jamie is able to recognize different feelings now. They are written to explain an emotion but also to enable a child to alter these emotions positively.
I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont (Scholastic Book)
Every child on this planet should have this book, that’s how strongly I feel about it. It is a book that celebrates each child’s uniqueness and individuality. Like the title states the aim of this book is for you to like who you are. It is an invaluable asset to your book collection. It is wonderfully written through rhyme which kids love and the illustrations are great. My kids LOVE this book and it was a gift for my daughter from her BFF a few years ago and it is cherished in our house.
Have you filled a bucket today? By Carol McCloud
I am believer in things happening for a reason. I stumbled upon this book in Safeway a couple of months back and I glanced through it, falling in love immediately with its message. It is a guide to daily happiness for kids. The concept is that everybody has an invisible bucket and by speaking or acting kindly you can fill both your own and others buckets and therefore become a bucket filler. Alternatively, if you speak unkindly or treat someone else badly you are losing what’s in your bucket and becoming a bucket dipper. My kids love this book (as do I) and often ask after saying something sweet “Mommy, am I filling your bucket?” Get a copy, you won’t regret it. It is a wonderful addition to your book collection.
I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld
I bought this book for Laura-Leigh’s graduation from Kindergarten last June as I loved the message. Some books are about a single wish, some about three wishes but this book is about endless good wishes. Wishes for curiosity, wonder, friendship and strength, for joyous days and quiet moments. A couple of examples of the wishes the authors talk about are “I wish you more give than take” and “I wish you more we than me” – simple sentences with absolute powerful messages.
Anything by Dr. Suess
Anything is not a book but I am literally recommending all Dr. Seuss’s books! I have three in our house and a fourth one ordered. We have Green Eggs and Ham which my sons LOVE. They learn to understand how to rhyme in a fun way and they also remember parts of the story and therefore feel like they are reading with you. I also have One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish and Hop on Pop. I learnt that the concept of rhyming was very important when my daughter started Kindergarten last year. The books are wacky and eccentric which is why we love them.
Usborne Phonics Readers Containing 12 Titles
This is a great pack of 12 titles aiding the understanding of rhyming in a fun way. I bought them for my daughter last year through scholastic Canada and she loves them as do my boys. Now in Grade 1 she is able to read a lot of the words herself which is boosting her confidence daily. 12 great stories to cuddle up to and enjoy together.
Beginning Independent Reading
6 Pack of My first Reading and Level 1 up
During one of my many Costco visits in the summer I discovered six packs of I Can Read Books for $10 so I got my daughter Fancy Nancy, Amelia Bedelia and Pinkalicous. I picked up the boys Pete the Cat, A series on animals and one on dinosaurs. How could you possibly go wrong with that deal? My kids love all these titles. My younger ones take out Pete the Cat from their bookshelves and sit cross legged gazing at the illustrations. Laura-Leigh sits trying to figure out the words.
On the Night you were Born by Nancy Tillman
When Ryan arrived almost Three years ago, his big brother Jamie bought him this book. It is beautiful. The meaning is fabulous and the pictures beautiful. A friend of mine got Ryan two additional Nancy Tillman books for his first birthday It’s Time to Sleep my Love and Wherever You are My Love Will Find You. These books are equally beautiful and the words will pull at your heart strings and leave a lump in your throat.
No David by David Shannon
My friend who bought I Like Myself bought this book for my son Jamie’s fourth birthday and it was a HUGE hit. We change it to No, Jamie! And we have such a giggle. It’s a book about a mischievous boy named David, whom trouble always finds…… a bit like my Jamie. It has short simple sentences with powerful images so Jamie “Reads” the book to his siblings. This book is the epitome of a fun read in our household.
Moose by Robert Munsch
Another book bought for Jamie on his fourth birthday and a firm favourite. You know this when it's taken from the bookshelf and sometimes flung on the floor after “reading” it or if you have to remove it from under your sleeping child’s head. It’s a funny story about a little guy called Luke who finds a huge Moose in his backyard and the unraveling of the tale that then ensues.
Find it books
Usborne 1001 Things to Spot in the Sea
I have a few various types of find it books in my house. All my kids love them. Not only are you finding things which is great fun but you are also aiding their numeracy skills in addition to learning about for e.g. animals in the oceans, bugs etc. You don’t have to necessarily sit down with your child with this book as you can show them how it works and they can do it independently of you as the pages are really well laid out. You might get an opportunity to get a mouthful of coffee. No guarantees, sorry!
I tend to buy a lot of my books at Costco, Chapters and through Scholastic and my kids are very lucky to receive wonderful books as gifts. Enjoy the reading journey with your children, I am loving this special time. It fills me with such pride.
I have really enjoyed writing this blog. We love the above books and would love to hear of any suggested reading you may have, love to hear from you.
Never a dull moment in this house and keep Sane.