The back-to-school frenzy is dying down. Schedules have become routine, and homework is in full swing. As is with schools, literacy is always on our minds, and we have programming (Bright Beginnings and Tulsa Family Connects) that underscores the importance of talking, singing, and reading to children.
Our friends at Zero to Three report that language and literacy (reading and writing) development begins in the first three years of life and is closely linked to the child’s earliest experiences with books and stories. The interactions that young children have with such literacy materials as books, paper, and crayons, and with the adults in their lives are the building blocks for language, reading, and writing development. Consider these steps to success from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries:
Reading together as a daily fun family activity.
Doing rhyming, playing, talking, and singing activities throughout the day.
Keeping routines and regular times for meals, play and sleeping to help children know what they can expect and what is expected from them.
Giving praise for everyday successes.
Understanding that nurturing relations are the foundation of a healthy and early brain and child development.
We hope you enjoy these six children’s book recommendations provided by PCCT therapists. Not only will they support your efforts to successfully nurture reading skills in your child, they will also serve as wonderful bonding moments! Enjoy!
This story is written and illustrated by one of my favorite cartoonists, Patrick McDonnell. It is for anyone who thought their life would be different than it is, or who gets bent out of shape when life throws curve balls (or in this book, peanut butter and jelly) in the middle of their otherwise “perfect” life. Louie is proud of his perfect story until SOMEONE comes along and gets it dirty with fingerprints and plops of PB&J. He really feels like everything is ruined until he learns a valuable lesson about life being pretty great – messes and all.
Mouse Was Mad by Linda Urban
Review by: Melissa Thurman
This book is hilarious. Follow mouse and act out all the ways the animals show they are mad. Copy hare, bear, bobcat, and hedgehog as they hop, stomp, and scream. By the time you reach the end, you and your child will be ready to take some deep breaths with mouse. The story and illustrations funny, which is terrific when reading about a normally difficult emotion to express: anger.
The Way I Feel by Janan Cain
Review by: Brianna Tracy
The Way I Feel is one of my favorite books to use with children when discussing feelings. It gives fun and playful ways to talk about feelings and to help children recognize them. I like to read it and act out different faces for all of the emotions with kids. It also gives the important message that it is okay to have difficult feelings. One of my favorite quotes from the book reads, “Feelings come and feelings go, I never know what they’ll be. Silly or angry, happy or sad – They’re all a part of me!”
I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak
Review by: Tara Glenn
This book for infants and young children is a personal favorite for many reasons. First, it speaks value and love into babies in their earliest months. The book features simple statements of love and caring to your baby as you read it, and the images are simple and interesting. Through the reading of this book, babies are taught that feelings are okay, and that love doesn’t stop even when you are mad or sad. This book can also be used in an interactive way, to creatively play with your baby and talk to her about her nose, fingers, and toes. Be silly and use different voices, and you and your baby will be sure to love this book as much as I do.
My favorite books follows a little boy, David, as he breaks all his mother’s rules. I love reading this book with children who are around 3 – 4 years old as they delight in his naughtiness. While children need rules and guidelines, they also need love and understanding when those rules are broken. Breaking rules is a normal part of childhood, especially at this age! This book gives caregivers and their children a chance to giggle, and helps children receive the message that they are loved despite their challenging behaviors.