The power of photographs


Advice and strategies to help your children

October 07, 2001

Editor's note: Today Jerdine Nolen develops a clear picture of how photos can enhance the reading experience.

Photographs are snapshots in time that leave lasting impressions. Taking pictures of our children and their good works creates positive mental images to treasure for a lifetime. Capture fleeting moments, like your child doing his homework or when he and dad share a good book at bedtime. Don't forget to display the pictures - on the refrigerator, in scrapbooks or in handsome frames. Even when things are not going so great, pictures can be a good way to revisit past struggles and recall how they were overcome. Photos also document achievements. You can remind your child, "You see, you did it!"

Anytime is the right time to take a picture

record firsts: day of school, step, gaining and losing a tooth

revisit your child's school year

express feelings

see one another in a new way

capture an important event/moment

Some things to consider

keep a camera - with film already inside - handy

ask your child if it is OK to take his picture

let your child take pictures of you

create a poster. Call it something, like "Look At Me Read," and consider giving it as a gift to someone

Jerdine Nolen of Ellicott City is the award-winning children's book author of Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm and Raising Dragons. Her most recent book is Big Jabe. She was a teacher and administrator in elementary education and has tested her suggestions on her son and daughter.

Log on as a library supporter

Today is the last day you can help school libraries across the country boost their inventory. All your child has to do is get to a computer with online access. Go to and register for a free online membership with Book Adventure, a Baltimore non-profit whose mission is reading motivation. Publisher Houghton Mifflin is the sponsor that will donate one book for each new reader who hops aboard this site.

Once there, your child might want to check out the Book Finder section, which compiles reading lists based on grade level (K-8) and interests. Print out Book Ranger Badges and other certificates of merit as he finishes a set number of books. At the Quiz-o-Matic, he can accumulate points and redeem rewards like gift certificates and treats at the Prize Library. Tools like almanacs and dictionaries are also provided via online links.

- Athima Chansanchai

New York Times Best Sellers List: Children's Paperback Books

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. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (weeks on list: 2)

2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (98)

3. Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman by Dav Pilkey (5)

4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (55)

5. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (13)

6. Conversations with J.K. Rowling by Lindsey Fraser (2)

7. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schulz (1)

8. Corduroy's Best Halloween Ever! By Lisa McCue (3)

9. Holes by Louis Sachar (55)

10. The Case of the Screaming Scarecrow by Judy Katschke (2)

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.

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