Attention, Patch families.
As a bestselling author, but most importantly, as a dad, I’ve found this to be my absolute go-to golden rule for parenting: the best way to open doors for your children is to get them to absolutely love to read books. And this won’t happen unless you, the parent, take the job into your own hands.
Reading—no matter what kinds of books they prefer—is the best and only way our kids will be able to grasp a firm footing in this life. Never deny them a book at the store or the library. Make time for reading 20 minutes a day in your house. Read books alongside them. Make the act of reading cool.
There’s a simple, easy way to get started: pick the books your kid will love. You can even use my ReadKiddoRead.com for a list of the best ones out there. Give them books they’ll enjoy, and they’ll pick up the next one on their own. Then another, and another… until you have a full-fledged reader on your hands, destined for great things ahead.
Ways to Celebrate National Reading Month
From storytime to read aloud programs, there are plenty of ways to make your children full-fledged readers—and National Reading Month is the perfect time to start. From showing your child your own children's books from years ago to going to a bookstore and seeing punchy, colorful new covers, either can ignite a love of reading into your child.
The National Education Association, which launched a Read Across America program to motivate kids to read, has plenty of resources on its site. Looking for the best books your family can read together? Then check out this list, the Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children Get ready to grab "Cat in the Hat" and "Charlotte's Web" from your local library—which could also have a children's reading room with interactive games and toys about characters from various books.
And if you're looking for more great books to read to your kids, check out the ReadKiddoRead Foundation's website for reading lists by age group and category.
The Los Altos Library also offers plenty of resources. Librarian Mary Wirth says:
Looking for a great read-aloud book for National Reading Month? Try The Penderwicks: A Summer tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and A Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall. Excitement and new experiences await four self-sufficient sisters and their absent-minded father when they rent a summer cottage in the mountains. When they meet Jeffery, the son of the woman who is renting the summer house to the family, the adventures begins. The adventure continues in The Penderwicks on Gardam Street and The Penderwicks at Point Mouette.
For other great suggestions for family read-alouds check out The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. And for toddlers and preschoolers at the Los Altos Library look for “Read With Me Kits.” Santa Clara County Library District librarians have created kits with books, music, a puppet and an activity guide that you can just pick up and go. It is that easy. There are many different kits for toddlerage and preschool age children. Check them out!
Linden Tree Books has some fantastic literacy events coming up, including:
- Every Friday & Saturday morning at 11, Picture Book Story Time for children ages 3-6 featuring classic AND new books.
- Saturday, March 30, 11:30 a.m. Author Renee French ("Barry's Best Buddy")
- Friday, April 12, 2 p.m. Illustrator Roland Garrigue ("How to Demolish Dinosaurs")
- Storytelling workshops for parents & kids with Enid Davis April 20 & 27
- Book discussion for "The Alchemist" April 28
- Coming up: Reading Clubs, Reading Camps, and Book Clubs next fall
Tell us in the comments what books you are reading for National Reading Month
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