How to make reading tasty

JUST FOR PARENTS

September 17, 2000

Editor's Note: Jerdine Nolen today discusses how to make a green meal. Her column appears biweekly.

Some books leave a lingering aftertaste. After reading such a book with your child, try out a recipe, included in some books, or make up one. Why stop with just one dish? How about a whole meal? Before fall sets in, try to keep a bit of summer's verdant spirit; help your child plan a green meal. You might find "green eggs and ham" taste great for breakfast! Get inspiration from Dr. Seuss or from any of the following books:

* "Seven Silly Eaters" by Mary Ann Hoberman

* "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle

* "Bread and Jam for Frances" by Russell Hoban

* "Never Take a Pig to Lunch" by Nadine Bernard Westcott

* "To Market, To Market" by Anne Miranda

Help your child make a list of green foods your family likes to eat such as:

green tea

lime gelatin

celery

mint jelly

spinach pasta

pickles

vegetables: beans, spinach, broccoli, greens, lettuce, cucumber, green pepper, tomatoes

Key lime yogurt

Determine where each green food fits into one the four basic food groups:

Grains

Dairy

Meat / Protein

Fruits / Vegetables

Plan a green meal

Help your child put together a nutritious meal based on the four food groups.

If your food isn't naturally green (eggs, for example), make it so with green food coloring

A resident of Ellicott City, Jerdine Nolen is the award-winning children's author of "Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm" and "Raising Dragons." She is a former teacher and administrator in elementary education, and has personally field-tested her suggestions on her son and daughter.

Gathering together for a good read

Why read alone? Frontier College, a Canadian volunteer-based literary organization, offers tips on how to start your own reading circle so parents and children can enjoy books together.

Starting a reading circle

* Find a large, accessible room with as few distractions as possible.

* Assign each volunteer parent one to three children. You can also find great volunteers at colleges, high schools and local community organizations.

* Pick a time for the circle to meet each week. Popular times are Saturday morning or afternoon, weekday evenings and after school.

* Advertise. Put up posters and tell everyone you know about the opening day of your circle.

* Borrow a large selection of children's books from the library. Choose books for different ages, interests and reading abilities. If you need help choosing the books, talk to the librarian.

Running a reading circle

* Arrive early and display the library books in a fun way.

* Give children and reading partners nametags and a small sticker on their nametag every week they attend. Reward the children with a prize, such as a book.

* Let children choose the books, then read or listen to a volunteer read aloud for 30 to 40 minutes.

* Ask everyone to sit in a circle for the last 15 minutes. Select a picture book with just a few words per page. Each child and adult reads one page, shows the picture, then passes the book around the circle. The group should applaud each reader. But shyness isn't a weakness here: let everyone know they do not have to read.

For more tips, visit www. frontiercollege.ca / English / programs / children / circle.htm.

Rasmi Simhan

New York Times Best Sellers: Hardcover children's books

Editor's Note: The New York Times has divided the children's best-seller list into three categories, which will be published in rotation. This list covers chapter books, and the next two weeks' lists will cover children's paperbacks and children's picture books respectively.

1. "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," by J.K. Rowling. (weeks on list: 9)

2. "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" by J.K. Rowling. (52)

3. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" by J.K. Rowling. (91)

4. "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" by J.K. Rowling. (66)

5. "Backstreet Boys: The Official Book," by Andre Csillag with the Backstreet Boys. (9)

6. "The Royal Diaries: Anastasia, The Last Grand Duchess" by Carolyn Meyer (1)

7. "Bud, Not Buddy" by Christopher Paul Curtis (10)

8. "Olympic Summer Games 2000" by Meredith Costain (4)

9. "The Bad Beginning" by Lemony Snicket (8)

10. "The Little Prince" by Antoine De Saint-Exupery (9)

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