Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Reading to Kids

Taking Care of Ourselves and Our Children continues!

Reading to kids ... it's so important for kids. It's never too soon or too late to start reading to your child. Some parents even beging reading to their child while the child is still in utero!

In 1983, Shirley Brice Heath, an anthropologist, wrote an amazing book called Ways With Words: Language, Life, and Work in Communities and Classrooms. It is the study of young kids and families living in three different south-eastern US commnities only a few miles apart. Each of these communities, however, had very different ways of introducing kids to literacy and oral language habits. The kids, not surprisingly, developed very different strengths in their "ways with words". All of the communities produced strengths in the kids, but schools did not necessarily build equally on the different strengths, and those kids who had not built strong early literacy foundations were less successful in school.

The blog Becoming Sarah - - provides a lot of tips on reading to youngsters, including book recommendations, but also tips on how to get kids interested and involved in reading. Check it out!

And last but not least, I am always looking for new books as I start to build our family's library.

I was very excited to learn about the book Pierre the Penguin: A True Story by Jean Marzollo. It is the true story of an African penguin. Yay - I love books that teach my kids about the continent of Africa. Right now, you can have the chance to win a copy of this sweet children's book. But to be in the running, you need to hurry over to and enter by Sept. 17th. Good luck!

I was also excited to read about another children's book called A Garden for Pig by Kathryn Thurman. This book helps kids to learn about organic gardening and contains recipes. How cool! To enter to win your own copy of this special book, hop on over to and enter by Sept. 21st. This book is published by Good luck!

Last but not least, there are some really fantastic board books out there. Gone are the days where every board book is a just a list of words, letters, or numbers. One of the coolest board books for little ones that's been published recently must be Alternative ABCs! Instead of "A is for apple, B is for boat, C is for cat", Alternative ABCs gives kids the real deal. To check it out and enter to win a copy for your family, head over to and enter Sept. 21st. Good luck with this one, too!

And have fun reading to your kids! Once you start reading out loud to your kids, I think you'll quickly find it's as much pleasure for you as it is for your little one!

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