March 23, 2009

Books, books, books

As my readers hopefully know by now, I love taking my daughter to the library. She could spend a long time there, picking out books, asking me to read to her. We bring home piles of books every week, and she spends many moments alone and with me reading through them and looking at the pictures. In fact, we'd probably spend EVERY spare moment reading together if I didn't have anything else to do. I struggle with this because I don't want to deter her love for books, but I just can't dedicate my whole day to reading out loud to her. Meanwhile, we read as much as we can, and she loves it! This love for books has created a slight problem though. I have been disappointed with many of the books we've randomly picked out from our local library. So many of the picture books that find their way into our house are... well, downright stupid! They lack plot, interest, good characters, sense? I do not wish to 'waste' time reading nonsense books to my children. Books that have no point to them! I have realized it doesn't take much to publish a children's picture book. It can't, based on what I've seen that's out there!
I am hoping to get my hands on a book called "Honey for a Child's Heart," which is basically lists of classic book titles for children. Good books. I have also found a great website resource, and they have lists categorized by age with links to other websites of popular children's authors, such as Beverly Clearly and the Laura Ingalls series. I am enjoying this stage of picture books and simple rhymes and poems, but I am secretly looking forward to enjoying early novels with my children too.
There are so many great books out there just waiting for us to cuddle up together with.
Read to your kids!
Here are 12 of the key reasons to start (or continue) reading aloud to your kids today.
1. Build a lifelong interest in reading. "Getting kids actively involved in the process of reading, and having them interact with adults, is key to a lifelong interest in reading," said BeAnn Younker, principal at Battle Ground Middle School in Indiana.
2. Children whose parents read to them tend to become better readers and perform better in school, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
3. Reading to kids helps them with language and speech development.
4. It expands kids' vocabulary and teaches children how to pronounce new words.
5. Reading to toddlers prepares them for school, during which they will need to listen to what is being said to them (similar to what they do while being read to).
6. Reading to older kids helps them understand grammar and correct sentence structure.
7. Kids and parents can use reading time as bonding time. It's an excellent opportunity for one-on-one communication, and it gives kids the attention they crave.
8. Being read to builds children's attention spans and helps them hone their listening skills.
9. Curiosity, creativity and imagination are all developed while being read to.
10. Being read to helps kids learn how to express themselves clearly and confidently.
11. Kids learn appropriate behavior when they're read to, and are exposed to new situations, making them more prepared when they encounter these situations in real life.
12. When read to, children are able to experience the rhythm and melody of language even before they can understand the spoken or printed word.

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