Advice and strategies to help your children read
Sharing a book with a child is a uniquely rewarding and pleasurable experience. Here are 10 recently published titles that are tops on my list. Keep in mind that many books easily read by beginning readers can be enjoyed by older readers. Moreover, many more advanced reading books may be read aloud and enjoyed by early readers.
"Bark, George" by Jules Feiffer: This irresistible puppy only says meow, moo or quack until his mother takes him to the veterinarian to solve the problem -- or does he?
"Here Comes Mother Goose" edited by Iona Opie: With vibrant colors and whimsical characters, Opie and illustrator Rosemary Wells make this a winner.
"What! Cried Granny: An Almost Bedtime Story" by Kate Lum: Patrick plays the I-don't-want-to-go-to-bed scenario when visiting his grandmother. But a persistent Granny overcomes each obstacle.
"Wemberly Worried" by Kevin Henkes: Wemberly the mouse worries about everything, especially her first day at nursery school.
"Olivia" by Ian Falconer: Olivia is a character kids will not only love, but will want to be a part of their lives forever. The drawings in red, black, pink and white set the scene for jokes and humor that adults will appreciate as much as children.
"Joseph Had a Little Overcoat" by Simms Taback: This newly illustrated version of Taback's 1977 book -- based on a Yiddish song -- is the winner of this year's Caldecott Medal. Joseph transforms his worn-out overcoat into smaller garments, and die-cut holes appear on the pages just before he makes something new out of each fading scrap of fabric.
"The Girl Who Spun Gold" by Virginia Hamilton: This West Indian version of the folk tale Rumpelstiltskin is beautifully illustrated by the award-winning Dillon team and retold by masterful storyteller Hamilton. A wonderful book to read aloud and to own.
"Dancing In the Wings" by Debbie Allen: Sassy worries that her large feet and too-long legs will keep her from her dream of becoming a ballerina. Even boys will appreciate her feelings and the dramatic ending.
"Aesop's Fables" by Jerry Pinkney: This gloriously illustrated version of Aesop's moral lessons is a must for every bookshelf. It is an engaging read-aloud for younger children and a wonderful resource for older readers.
"26 Fairmont Avenue" by Tomie dePaola: The author recalls some memorable moments when his family moved into their new home, including a vivid description of the hurricane of 1938.
-- Susan Rapp
Village Reading Center
New York Times Children's
Picture Book Best Sellers
Editor's Note: The children's best-seller list has three categories -- picture books, chapter books, and paperbacks -- which are published in rotation, one category per week.
1. "If You Take a Mouse to the Movies" by Laura Numeroff (weeks on list: 10)
2. "Olivia" by Ian Falconer (11)
3. "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum (6)
4. "Dream Snow" by Eric Carle (10)
5. "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Movie Storybook" adapted by Louise Gikow (6)
6. "Mick Foley's Christmas Chaos" by Mick Foley (6)
7. "Where Do Balloons Go?" by Jamie Lee Curtis (14)
8. "I Spy: Extreme Challenger" by Jean Marzollo (7)
9. "The Brand New Kid" by Katie Couric (8)
10. "Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree" by Robert Barry (1)
The Sun invites readers to send in tips about encouraging children to read, and we will print them on this page or on sunspot.net, our place on the Internet. Please include your name, town and daytime phone number. Send suggestions by fax to 410-783-2519; by e-mail to email@example.com; or by mail to Reading by 9 Parent Tips, The Sun, Features Department, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.
Exercise all the senses this season
About.com's Books for Kids guide Bonnie Bruno reawakens Christmases past with a great exercise in sensory awareness and detail recall. Since tomorrow's the big day, your kids must be bustling with barely contained energy. Why don't you make the wait as sweet as the reward?
Sit down with your kids and pull out some blank sheets of paper and make five columns corresponding to the five senses. Start brainstorming with your kids, focusing on descriptive adjectives and phrases, words that help enrich their vocabulary. Write out the accounts in paragraphs and match it up with photographs for a truly memorable scrapbook.
-- Athima Chansanchai