literacy

Jeanne Loves Books – May

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We are excited to announce a new monthly column dedicated to literacy. Each month Jeanne Loves Books will be sharing her favorite stories for young children and reading tips for parents to engage their children in literacy. Enjoy!

Such a Little Mouse by Alice Schertle | 2-5 years     

I bought this book for my two year old granddaughter, and she loves it and so do her parents.

It is a story about a little mouse who lives underground and at the beginning of each season he (we say “she”) pops out of his little hole, greets creatures, explores a bit of his world, and brings back nuts, seeds, and greens for his storeroom.

The text is simple but includes “rich” words like, moss, clump, snug, watercress, rustle, sprig. There are repeating phrases which are engaging for young children.  It is empowering for them to know something and say it. The same applies to being able to identify different creatures (butterfly, bees, snails, etc) encountered during each season.

This is a simple story about a little mouse who loves exploring his world, notices the changes in the seasons and plans ahead. He takes us all along with him on his explorations, helping children who struggle with change to grow more comfortable with it.

Fun with Reading Tips:

  •  As mentioned, the story includes several repeating phrases. Try pausing halfway into the phrase the second or third time you read it to encourage your child to finish it.
  • Notice and talk about the way the different seasons are portrayed in the illustrations. On the second or third reading, let your child identify the different creatures in the illustrations and the seasons represented. Make your version of the “sounds” of the bees and woodpecker. And see if you can identify found objects that little mouse has used to furnish his house.

AlphaBlock by Christopher Franceschelli | 0-5 years

This is a very chunky alphabet board book that spans a wide age range for children. Each letter has two thick pages with a cutout of the capital letter attached in the middle. Young toddlers will appreciate the bright illustrations and the almost flap book feeling of turning the letter over to see its second page. They will also enjoy pointing to specific items on each page. My one-and-a-half year-old granddaughter loves fish and heads right for the “F” page so she can turn it and see the goldfish. She is beginning to identify the letter F with the word FISH located under the goldfish.

Older children will love that you can peek through and around the letter to guess what word is going to be shown for the letter, since the first page has clues to what will be revealed on the second.

AlphaBlock is a book for the senses. It begs to be touched and handled. The colors are bright, and the letters can be felt with your hand.

Fun with Reading Tips: 

  • For toddlers, find the letter that is the first letter of their name. That is their “special” letter and is a good introduction to the alphabet.
  • For older children, look up all the letters for first letters of family names.
  • Let them be a detective with the clues for each letter. What word will it be?
  • Inspire them to think of what clues they would add.

Author: JeanneLovesBooks

Jeanne is a retired youth services librarian and the former Supervisor of Hennepin County’s Readmobile Program. The Readmobile, which is also retired, was like a Bookmobile, but dedicated to young children, which developed and provided early literacy enriched visits to Head Start Programs, Early Childhood Learning Centers, Child Care Providers and Family, Friend and Neighbor Providers. Jeanne shares literacy info about books for infants through preschoolers in her “Jeanne Loves Books” column once a month. She welcomes your feedback and suggestions for books to highlight.

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