Friday, September 28, 2012

Finding the Needle in the Early Reader Haystack

Early Reader Books; a thorn in the side of parents and librarians everywhere.
You are elated to find that your little one is beginning to read (great job getting them prepared for reading, by the way)... and then you move across the aisle from the picture books to the early reader collection only to be overwhelmed with the sheer volume and variety of books available. How do you pick the right one?
One place to start is our 'Great Books for Kindergarten and First Graders' Booklist, which you can find online here and also in the library with the rest of our booklists.  It provides a list of a variety of picture books you can read to your emerging reader, and a few easy early reader books they can start reading on their own such as those in the Fly Guy series. 
One way to help your child make the transition to reading on their own is to read a type of book called We Both Read.  Each book has a series of two-page spreads that begin with a paragraph for a parent to read and end with a word or sentence for the child to read aloud.  This can be very encouraging for emerging readers as they feel comforted that their parent will be reading the bulk of the text.
One way that we help you find books that will be easy for your emerging reader to read is with a sticker placed on the spine of the book.  This 'Easy Reading' sticker can be found on several books within the collection and looks like this:
Once your child begins reading, the amount of time he or she will spend reading books in the early reader collection on the 2nd floor is small.  They very quickly jump in reading ability and will move on to harder and harder books until they are reading full chapter books.  Even as they become more independent in their reading, don't forget that they still might want to be read to.  There are plenty of chapter books that can be read aloud.  You can try trading off chapters or paragraphs with your child.  It will build their confidence as a reader if they can finish a longer book and encourage their love of reading.
If you have any questions or would like any recommendations, don't hesitate to stop in the library and ask.  We are always happy to help!

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