Get a read on Mother's Day


May 13, 2001

Advice and strategies to help your children read

If you're a mother, kick off your shoes and hand this article over to other family members and relax. Leave it to your loved ones to try out some of the following ideas for a holiday you'll always treasure.

* Make an IOU coupon book. Using an index card, on one side write an activity or chore that busy moms would be happy to redeem, such as "Take out the trash for one month" or "Wash the car." Staple the cards together into a book.

* Make a pop-up bouquet card. It's much more personal, not to mention affordable when you're on an allowance! Just follow the directions online at: http: / / / crafts / famf / popupcard / popupcard.html.

* Read "Mom Pie" by Lynne Jonell, then create a pie of your own. This is one that you don't have to cook!

* Read and act out P.D. Eastman's "Are You My Mother?" for a skit Mom will love.

Mom can kick back in her favorite reading spot with these additions to the family library:

* "Tucking Mommy In" by Morag Loh. This story gently turns the tables at bedtime.

* "The Memory String" by Eve Bunting. This beautifully illustrated and heartwarming story reveals the growing relationship between a child and her stepmother.

* "In My Momma's Kitchen" by Jerdine Nolen. Food, relatives and fun conjure up fond memories that took place in the kitchen.

* "I Love You Like Crazy Cakes" by Rose Lewis. The story shows how love grows through adoption.

* "What Mommies Do Best" by Laura Numeroff. This picture book can be turned upside down and read again at Father's Day to learn "What Daddies Do Best!"

-- Susan Rapp

Village Reading Center

How to fan the flame of reading

Sometimes finding out what attracts children to books can help fan a spark of interest and turn it into an eternal flame. Nancy DeSalvo, author of "Beginning with Books: Library Programming for Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers," gives us nine reasons why kids love books:

1. It meets the need for reassurance. In books like "Sam Who Never Forgets" by Eve Rice, kids are taken care of and not forgotten.

2. The child can identify with it. He will see elements of his own personality in different characters and see the book as an extension of himself, his life and its possibilities.

3. It's a funny book. Comedies score high on requested repeats from kids.

4. The book is predictable or repetitious. Kids like to memorize stories -- it boosts their confidence.

5. The book is an arty book, or just different from the others. Unusual artwork may capture a child's eye, or her heart.

6. The book has rhythm. Try "Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb" by Al Perkins.

7. There is a happy event associated with the book. Read "The Circus Baby" by Maude and Miska Persham and plan a trip to the circus.

8. The book is a gimmick, toy or game. Interactive books with flaps, pull-strings and other accessories fascinate youngsters.

9. The child has a real interest in the subject. You've all seen how quickly children latch onto something, whether it's dinosaurs, big trucks or sharks. Take advantage of that curiosity and see how enthusiastically he'll absorb the information you expose him to.

-- Athima Chansanchai

New York Times Children's

Paperback 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. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" by Newt Scamander (weeks on list: 7)

2. "Quidditch Through the Ages" by Kennilworthy Whisp (7)

3. "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" by J.K. Rowling (34)

4. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" by J.K. Rowling (77)

5. "Holes" by Louis Sachar (34)

6. "Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul Letters" compiled by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Kimberly Kirberber (1)

7. "The Captain Underpants Extra-Crunchy Book O' Fun" by Dav Pilkey (9)

8. "Clifford's Happy Mother's Day" by Norman Bridwell (2)

9. "Ramona's World" by Beverly Cleary (3)

10. "Likes Me, Likes Me Not" by Megan Stine (3)

Contact us

The Sun invites readers to send in tips about encouraging children to read, and we will print them on this page or on, 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; or by mail to Reading by 9 Parent Tips, The Sun, Features Department, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.