Are you ready? Everyone is getting ready for something. The next holiday, the next season, better weather, the list goes on and on. What about you and your preschool-age child? Are you ready? Are you ready for school; learning to read, write, add and subtract, and the other thousands of things children learn in school?
Emergent literacy occurs in that period from birth until a child learns to read. As children discover words that rhyme, recognize street signs, point and name everyday objects, scribble and learn the letters of the alphabet, they are forming those important skills that prepare them for reading. They join these skills with what they know about words, listening and speech, and become ready to read and write.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association offers some very simple and easy-to-use ideas to help your child develop during this crucial period.
Here are a few of my favorite books to interest you and your child.
"The Cow Loves Cookies" by Karma Wilson is easily my new favorite book. The story tells what each barnyard animal likes to eat but always goes back to the phrase: "But, the cow loves cookies!" The story is a fun, repetitive trip through the farm. Finally, the author lets us know why the cow loves cookies so much. I like this story because it is fun and lighthearted and features sweet, clear and funny illustrations. This story could also be used to review animal sounds using only the illustrations.
"Chicken Little" by Rebecca and Ed Emberley is a fresh spin on the traditional story of Chicken Little. The illustrations are bright and silly, which perfectly matches the mood of the story. There are various barnyard sound effects as well as some nice use of language, which are sure to delight young readers. A new twist at the end of the story is sure to make this a classic.
"LMNO Peas" by Keith Baker is a new counting book featuring, what else? Peas! Each spread shows a letter of the alphabet surrounded by lots of hard-working peas, dressed appropriately for each task. The rhyming text is simple, but it creatively adds new angles to what you would traditionally think of to illustrate jobs and actions for each letter of the alphabet. Kids will find humor in this fun title, but it also opens the opportunity to look at the alphabet and think of other words for each letter, talk about the sounds made by the letters and practice writing letters.