T’s teacher recently started a Reading Log program; one new book is sent home every day for us to read with him at night.
These are simple books with patterned structure (e.g. Here is a box… Here is a bat… Here is a broom) to help T build his sight word vocabulary and learn about simple sentence structure.
I’m glad to see this program, because giving our kindergartner T the building blocks to learn how to read in grade 1 next year is one of the goals we established in his Individualized Education Plan.
Research consistently shows the importance of early literacy and for caregivers to read to children at home. As noted by the American Library Association, a study of 3 to 5 year olds who had been read to at least three times per week found the children were two times more likely to recognize all letters, have word-sight recognition, and understand words in context.
Bedtime stories was a routine the hubby and I established with T from when he came into our lives at 14 months. It’s one of my favourite times of the day – and not just because it’s one step closer to T falling asleep!
I truly believe that reading to him has helped T develop his receptive and expressive language; he was once considered speech delayed.
As he matures into a little boy, I believe that books will be good tools to teach him about complex issues, challenging emotions, to build his empathy – all while growing his knowledge.
We’ve been so blessed to have family and friends who’ve gifted and continue to gift T with great books. We also borrow books from our library.
I’ve previously shared a list of favourite books we’ve read to T from his toddler years up to age 4.
Here are a few additions to this list of a few favourites from our bedtime reading this year.
Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
This much-beloved book by beloved Canadian author Robert Munsch is a deceptively simple-looking but profoundly deep story about the universal love a parent has for their child.
I dare anyone to read this book without breaking into tears by the end. I’ve previously written about what this book means to me as a parent.
The nuance and depth in this book are likely lost on T but I know this is a book that we will revisit in the years to come and will reveal new layers for T with each later reading.
T also has other Munsch books in his personal library thanks to friends, including The Paperbag Princess, 50 Below Zero and The Fire Station.
How To Catch A Star by Oliver Jeffers
This charming surrealistic book tells the story of a boy who wants to catch a star and never gives up until he catches his very own star.
This book speaks to the limitless imagination and possibilities of the curious and determined child’s mind – which is why T enjoys this book so much.
Giraffe and Bird by Rebecca Bender
This charming story of frenemies Giraffe and Bird learning to get along is an excellent example of how books can help teach kids about complex concepts such as friendship and learning to respect each other and get along.
Show not tell as I was often taught in school and what better tools to help show T and not tell about concepts such as friendship than a beautifully illustrated and humorously told story such as this book.
The Family Book by Todd Parr
I’m a librarian and libraries talk even more so these days about the importance of diversity and representation.
T has two copies of this picture book – gifted by two separate colleagues when T first entered our lives – which illustrates, using animals, that families come in all forms.
Some families have two parents, some have a single parents, some have two mommies or two daddies, some families adopt children. All families love to celebrate birthdays and all families are sad when they lose a loved one.
I think that kids are ok with differences more so than adults are, because their innocence allows them to be more tolerant – especially when you tell them about things in plain simple terms.
I Love You, Mister Bear by Sylvie Wickstrom
My Aunt is a garage sale fanatic and often gives T books by the box full and we are more than grateful to receive them.
This book is a garage sale find and is about a girl who rescues a tattered worn down bear from a garage sale and restores him. Talk about meta!
This story resonates with me, because to me it mirrors an adoption story – the little bear moving from one family to another.
I also like that it teaches T that a toy does not have to be brand new for it to be valuable or to bring you enjoyment.
Just Me and My Dad by Mercer Mayer
I grew up loving the Little Critter series by Mercer Meyer and we got a bunch of them from my Aunt’s garage sale find.
T and I have read this specific title – when the Critter goes on a camping trip with his Dad – countless times, including this past summer when T and I camped out in the backyard.
Lulu is a Rhinoceros by Jason Flom
This is a story of a little dog named Lulu that believes it is a rhinoceros, despite all the other dogs telling her otherwise.
One day, a chance encounter with a bird takes her to a zoo where Lulu finds her peers.
For a young boy like T, it probably is a whimsical and silly story. But through repeated readings, I hope the message sinks in that there is power that can come with belief in one self.
Little Tree by Loren Long
This is a wonderful story of a little tree who goes through the Spring and Summer seasons but come Fall, he refuses to let go of his leaves. As a result, his fellow trees around him sprout and grow into tall trees while he is stagnant.
Eventually, he learns to let go of his leaves and let nature take its natural course and grow.
This story provides a great reminder that we are all on our own journey and that some of us may take a little longer to get to our natural destination, but we will get there in due time.
Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld
Like most boys, T loves his trucks.
This is a fun book about the different and hardworking trucks on a construction site winding down for the day.
It gives a nice reminder to work hard and to also make time for play and rest.