What's On Our Bookshelf

 

Research shows that early literacy is a key indicator of academic success. Thank goodness for teachers, right?! Research also shows that the language parents and caregivers use with children before the age of three are the strongest influences on language skills.

Since many of us are not teachers, one of the easiest ways to set your child up for lifelong success is by reading to them! Bedtime stories are the perfect way to start a routine now to give your children the foundation they need for their future success. All you need is a positive attitude and a library card!

reading to your child quote

Establishing a regular reading routine now has many benefits:

  • language development
  • language comprehension
  • concept development
  • contributes to knowledge retention 
  • promotes empathy
  • develops an appreciation for art
  • positive association with reading
  • motivated to learn to read
  • introduction to correct sentence structure
  • promotes ongoing dialogue between you and your child
  • your child feels important
  • a chance to snuggle

Small children respond to rhythmic sounds and incorporate these into their experiments with sounds as they play and fall asleep. Look for nursery rhymes or books with lyrical language and sing-songy sounds. Attention spans are short and books should match this. Choose books that can be read in one sitting and that are interactive. Give lots of opportunities for little fingers to point and touch or for bodies to respond to the story with movement.

Littles love to learn and choosing books with new and exciting information about the world will expand their knowledge and open up their imaginations. Story time can also be a time to teach concepts like colors, shapes, counting and more. Books feature a variety of art and can be a great source of inspiration and open up a whole new world. Pictures also help your child follow along with the story, so look for images that are clear and not overly busy.

reading to your child quote

Once your little one has a more solid grasp on language, around 2-5 years old, they’ll enjoy playing with nonsense words and silly stories. At this age, your child will also love books that they can identify with. This is a great opportunity for them to develop empathy and give them a chance to process emotions. They can explore all of this while experiencing the security that being snuggled close to you provides. Find books that introduce things like courage, patience, sensitivity, diversity and inner beauty.

Not sure where to start? We've compiled a list below for both baby and mama! (Remember, watching you read reinforces the idea that learning is a lifelong process, so read that novel you’ve been eyeing…it’s for your child!)

For Baby: 

 

Nonfiction for Mom: 

  • How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo
    A guide to raising children to have a lifelong love of reading
  • Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child Marc Weissbluth, M.D. 
    A step-by-step program for a good night’s sleep 
  • The Wonder Weeks by Frans X. Plooij and Hetty van de Rijt
    Understanding the real reason behind crying, eating and sleeping problems
  • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo 
    Addresses why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism
  • The Family Firm by Emily Oster 
    A book for practical decision making for families with young children
  • The 99% Invisible City by Roman Mars & team
    A field guide to the hidden world of everyday design 
  • Cribsheet by Emily Oster
    A data-driven approach to better, more relaxed parenting from birth to pre-school  
  • Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen
    A book on stopping the spiral of toxic thoughts
  • The Road Back to You by Ian Crom and Suzanne Stabile
    An enneagram journey to self discovery
  • Be the Bridge by Latasha Morrison
    A book about racial reconciliation

 

Fiction for Mom:

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