Thursday, July 13, 2017

10 Books to Read About Going to Kindergarten

Parents of preschoolers, it's almost time to send your little ones off to their first day of kindergarten.

We know this moment is bittersweet for you, but how are your kids feeling? Some children are so excited about going to school with the big kids that they can hardly contain their happiness. Other children can hardly contain their fears about being away from their parents in an unfamiliar classroom.

If you've been reading toward your 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten goal, we've got ten more books to get you over that goal line, with the added bonus of giving your child a sneak peek into kindergarten classrooms and helping them learn what to expect on the first day of school.

  1. Planet Kindergarten by Sue Ganz-Schmitt (Also look for Planet Kindergarten: 100 Days in Orbit arriving on our shelves soon.)
  2. The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten by Maureen Fergus
  3. Kindergarten Diary by Antoinette Portis
  4. Countdown to Kindergarten by Alison McGhee
  5. Mom, It's My First Day of Kindergarten! by Hyewon Yum
  6. Monkey: Not Ready for Kindergarten by Marc Tolonn Brown
  7. The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing
  8. Off to Kindergarten by Tony Johnston
  9. On the First Day of Kindergarten by Tish Rabe
  10. Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

How to Raise a Reader: A Summary for Busy Parents

The Books section of The New York Times is one of our favorite places to find new books, new authors, and literacy news. This week we discovered a guide written by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo entitled “How to Raise a Reader” that offers simple literacy and reading tips that are easy for parents to practice as their children grow.

For the benefit of busy parents who may not be able to read the entire guide in one sitting, we’ve summarized tips for infant, toddler, and preschool stages of development below.

Reading in Infancy

  1. “Read out loud, every day. Any book.” You’re not required to read Dr. Seuss to your infant. You can read a cookbook, a magazine, or even your own favorite novel to your baby. The important part is that your baby hears your voice, your words and pronunciation, and sees you enjoying reading.
  2. “Use your senses.” Try reading with your baby on your lap so he or she can feel the pages, see the colors, and enjoy the sensory experience of snuggling with a loving caregiver.
  3. “Mind your audience.” Occasionally look up from your book and make eye contact with your infant. When your baby makes sounds as you read, stop for a moment and respond. This early interaction encourages language development.

Reading to Toddlers

  1. "Reading happens throughout the day.” Don’t confine reading just to bedtime stories. Offering to read with your active toddler during the day is a great way to encourage calm and quiet rest between periods of playtime.
  2. “Respect your child’s preferences.” You might not want to read another Clifford book, but if your child loves it, let them choose what you read together. After all, you want to show your child that reading is fun, not a chore to be suffered through.
  3. “It’s O.K. to interrupt.” Don’t focus on getting through the pages so much that you forget to answer your toddler’s questions. Their interruptions to ask you about something on the page or something a character says or does is a sign that they’re paying attention and are curious about the story or topic.

Preschoolers and Emerging Readers

  1. “Don’t abruptly withdraw your reading services.” As your child enters pre-K and kindergarten, they may begin to pick out words on their own. Encourage them to do so, but don’t allow reading time to become more like a test than an enjoyable bonding activity. 
  2. “Every child learns to read at a personal pace.” Very few five-year-olds are ready for independent reading, so don’t get caught up in comparing your child’s progress to other children. Check with your child’s teacher if you suspect a reading challenge, such as dyslexia.
  3. “Don’t make reading work.” Your goal as a parent is to foster a love of reading, so focus more on exposing your child to books they will enjoy – fiction, non-fiction, comics, game manuals, or graphic novels – and less on hitting specific targets.

To read more about emerging readers in elementary school and beyond (including why you don’t have to read the Harry Potter books aloud to your kindergartener and an awesome tip for book swapping birthday parties), please visit

To read more of The New York Times, log in with your library card account for free remote access to The New York Times Online and enjoy articles, videos, and customizable stock reports wherever your are.

Monday, June 5, 2017

25 Books to Read for Father's Day

It’s your day, dads, and these 25 books for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are all about celebrating the special loving bonds between fathers and their children.

Let someone else worry about all your normal chores. Take the day off and snuggle up to your little ones with one of these great books!

  1. Dad and the Dinosaur by Gennifer Choldenko
  2. Naptastrophe! by Jarrett Krosoczka
  3. Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
  4. A Father's Song by Janet Lawler
  5. Father's Day by Anne F. Rockwell
  6. My Father Knows the Names of Things by Jane Yolen 
  7. If I Were Your Father by Margaret Park Bridges
  8. Every Friday by Dan Yaccarino
  9. Because I'm Your Dad by Ahmet Zappa
  10. Up on Daddy's Shoulders by Matthew Berry
  11. Giddy-up, Daddy! by Troy Cummings
  12. My Dad by Steve Smallman
  13. A Father's Day Thank You  by Janet Nolan
  14. Froggy's Day with Dad by Jonathan London
  15. Hunting the Daddyosaurus by Teresa Bateman
  16. Daddies Do It Different by Alan Lawrence Sitomer
  17. How to Cheer up Dad by Fred Koehler
  18. My Daddy is a Giant by Carl Norac 
  19. My Side of the Car by Kate Feiffer
  20. Car Wash Kid by Cathy Goldberg Fishman
  21. Nelly Gnu and Daddy, Too by Anna Dewdney
  22. Ask Me by Bernard Waber
  23. Tell Me One Thing, Dad by Tom Pow 
  24. In the Woods by Elizabeth Spurr
  25. Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bicycle by Chris Raschka