Greetings, Learning Expressions Readers!
I’m delighted to tell you a little bit about the “Spotlight on Reading” initiative that we are implementing on the Learning Express Blog. The revered New York Times Book Critic Orville Prescott once said, "Few children learn to love books by themselves. Someone has to lure them into the wonderful world of the written word: someone has to show them the way." Research has proven the benefits of reading with your child on a daily-basis, however at Learning Express we believe that nurturing a child’s love of reading is key to a long-term scholastic success.
In the weeks and months to come, we will explore ways to make reading anything but a chore for your children. Our “Spotlight on Reading” blog posts will include reviews of hot new books, interviews with authors, techniques for making reading fun, and coverage of exciting book-related events held at our local Learning Express stores. Today, I’d like to launch this initiative by sharing with you some of our favorite classic books for all ages. Enjoy!
Infants to Age 2
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Teaching the days of the week and counting, Eric Carle’s imaginative illustrations and dramatic storytelling in this book unfold the life of a caterpillar from the moment it is in an egg to the transformation it makes into a beautiful butterfly.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Perhaps the perfect children's bedtime book, Goodnight Moon is a short poem of goodnight wishes from a young rabbit preparing for--or attempting to postpone--his own slumber.
Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boyton
Children love animals and learning animal sounds with such a fun and whimsical picture book is one way to help develop a love of reading. The sing-song style and the rhythm and rhyme make this a delightfully humorous book to share with any toddler or preschool age child.
Ages 4 to 8
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
When Max is sent to bed without his supper, he is so mad that he decides to sail to the land of the wild things, where he becomes the wildest of all.
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
Little Nutbrown Hare wants very much to impress Big Nutbrown Hare with the enormous scale of his devotion, but ends up being the one who's impressed.
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel Mary Anne make quite a team, but no one wants an old-fashioned steam shovel like Mary Anne when a modern shovel can do the digging in half the time!
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
Mr. And Mrs. Mallard are looking for a place in the city of Boston to raise their young ducks. When they decide to nest in Boston’s Public Garden, they are right at home with the help of a police officer and others.
Ages 9 to 12
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
The Newberry Medal-winning story of a 12-year old girl who lives alone on a Pacific island after she leaps from a rescue ship. Isolated on the island for eighteen years, Karana forages for food, builds weapons to fight predators, clothes herself in a cormorant feathered skirt, and finds strength and peace in her seclusion.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
This timeless classic is a poignant tale of Mary, a lonely orphaned girl sent to a Yorkshire mansion at the edge of a vast lonely moor. She is frightened by her gloomy new home until she discovers a mysterious, abandoned garden.
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O'Brien
This novel relates the plight of a widowed field mouse, Mrs. Frisby, who seeks the aid of a group of former laboratory rats in rescuing her home from destruction by a farmer's plow. A story that is as engrossing as it is unusual.
For children to really enjoy reading, they must have access to books that pique their interest and spark their imagination. Not all books are created equal, and I would encourage all parents to actively seek out books that are worth your children’s while. The classics provided above are just a few examples of enduringly popular books that children have loved through the generations.
So how to find books that your kids will beg you to read again and again, night after night? There are children’s book resources a-plenty online, and you can come in and talk to a Learning Express staff member, but I would also suggest tapping a valuable local resource: your children’s librarian. From personal experience (growing up I weekly accosted our local children’s librarian post-storytime for her latest recommendations) I can tell you that librarians are an invaluable source of book knowledge and can provide you with quality reads for children of all ages. Supplying children with truly great books is key to making the habit of reading pleasurable rather than painful.
And as Dr. Seuss would say…
“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
Talk to you again soon!