By Scott Klepach, Jr.
Discovering and Sharing New and Classic Books
Erin Chaplin, Yakima School District’s director of literacy, said reading aloud to children will help them become excited about reading themselves – and become better readers – but this method can be expanded beyond just a published text.
“Parents reading with kids is always good, but even talking with kids in the car is good,” said Chaplin. “For example, if you are in the car and see a tree, you can ask, ‘What rhymes with tree?’”
This communication can help build a child’s vocabulary and language skills, Chaplin continued, especially if parents do not have many other resources.
Like Chaplin, Linda Nixon emphasizes the importance of reading stories out loud to children.
“Listening to audiobooks as a family is a great way to generate that lifelong love of reading,” said Nixon, who is the Yakima Valley Regional Library system’s public programs librarian.
YVL recently launched the “50 Nifty Family Read-aloud” list, which offers the most popular titles to be shared out loud, as determined by the library’s staff. (See the sidebar for more information on these and other titles.)
“The staff arranged the list by how experienced a listener would be,” said Nixon. “There are books for experienced listeners and for beginners.”
Though new books are certainly popular, Nixon noted some books are always in demand.
“Libraries have asked for replacement copies of standard reads,” Nixon said. Such titles include classics such as “Little House on the Prairie,” among others. “Some things just never go out of style.”
Chaplin recommends that parents check out Reading Rockets (readingrockets.org), a literacy website, which offers reading resources in English and Spanish.
“It offers great parents’ resources (and) things to do at home,” she said. “There are great tips for all age levels, for babies, toddlers and children.”
Beloved Titles: “Fifty Nifty Family Read-alouds” and “Hot 100 Picture Books for Kids” at the Library
Linda Nixon, Yakima Valley Regional Library’s children services manager, said many of the titles on the library’s list of best read-alouds and children’s picture books are likely to excite parents, because they will remember reading or listening to them when they were kids.
Some of the beginning listener titles on the list are Kate DiCamillo’s “Because of Winn-Dixie,” E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web,” Beverly Cleary’s “The Mouse and the Motorcycle,” and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House in the Big Woods.”
Mary Norton’s “The Borrowers,” Lynne Reid Banks’ “The Indian in the Cupboard,” C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” Roald Dahl’s “Matilda,” Frances Hodgson Burnett’s “The Secret Garden,” and Gail Carson Levine’s “Ella Enchanted” graced the intermediate listeners’ list.
Experienced listeners can select from L.M. Montgomery’s “Anne of Green Gables,” Lemony Snicket’s “The Bad Beginning,” Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island,” Brian Jacques’ “Redwall,” and Cornelia Funke’s “Inkheart.”
Last December, the library published another booklist called the “Hot 100 Picture Books for Kids.” The titles also were selected by the staff. Nixon said some families have taken a personal pledge to read all of the titles in 2010, while others make a goal to have their children read all of them by the time they reach kindergarten.
Perennial favorites made the list, including Judy Schachner’s “Skippyjon Jones,” Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham,” Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are,” and Margaret Wise Brown’s “Goodnight Moon.”
Stop by one of the library’s branches, or head to the library’s online blog to learn more about these booklists: yakimavalleylibraries.wordpress.com.
Have You Checked Out These Books Yet?
Inklings Bookshop and Borders have chimed in with some popular titles this year as well. Jeff Kinney’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series is a favorite for middle readers, while “Skippyjon Jones, Lost in Spice” and others in the series lead the way for younger readers. Big names like the “Twilight” series continue to be popular as well.
At Inklings, these classic and new titles are super popular:
Popular board books:
“Pat the Bunny,” Dorothy Kunhardt
“Barnyard Dance,” Sandra Boynton
“Goodnight Moon,” Margaret Wise Brown
“Where the Sidewalk Ends,” Shel Silverstein
“A Child’s Garden of Verses,” Robert Louis Stevenson
Several picture books continue to make the top of the charts. These are “Fancy Nancy Heart to Heart: Valentine’s Special” (part of the “Fancy Nancy” series), by Jane O’Connor, and “Star Wars: A Scanimation Book,” by Rufus Butler Seder, which is the top seller this summer at the bookstore.
Here are the hottest reads at Borders this summer:
Ages 3 and younger:
“Gallop!” Rufus Butler Seder
“Chicka chicka boom boom! Will there be enough room?” Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
“Skippyjon Jones, Lost in Spice,” Judy Schachner
“Marley and the Kittens,” John Grogan
“The Dork Diaries” (series), Rachel Renée Russel
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid” (series), Jeff Kinney
“The 39 Clues” (series), Rick Riordan
Ages 12 and older:
“The Hunger Games,” Suzanne Collins
“Fallen,” Lauren Kate
“Forest of Hands & Teeth,” Carrie Ryan
Borders is also offering a fun reading challenge this summer for children 12 and younger called the “Borders 10 Double Dog Dare Challenge.” If kids read any 10 books and fill out the Double Dog Dare form available at the store or on the website, they will earn a free book featured on Borders’ preselected list of titles.
Filed under Books, Featured Stories, From the Mag