Friday, February 28, 2014

This Book Is Mine To Share

As parents and caretakers of children, one of the difficult lessons to teach our kids is the concept of sharing. On the flip side, it is important to also teach children to return things they have borrowed from others.

Children's books are a great way to teach both lessons. We can be sure to add a few storybooks that are fun reading while also on the topic of sharing. With each new addition to a child's home library we can add a bookplate to the inside cover that declares, "It's Mine!"

Books teach children to share and the bookplates teach kids that when a book does not belong to them it needs to be returned to its rightful owner.

Of course, another way to teach children about the sharing and borrowing of books is by taking them to the local library. Libraries share their books with us but also insist they must be returned in a timely manner.

For me, it has been far too long since I took a child to a library. It would have been with my son when he was young.

When was the last time you visited a library with a child? 


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Monday, February 24, 2014

Communication and Childhood Literacy

Reading Together
Reading TO a child rather than WITH a child is about as productive as it is when people talk AT me as opposed to WITH me.

Picture it: A person at the podium or a teacher at the head of a class, the audience or children seated in front of them. We pretty much feel as though it is demanded that we listen. (Or at least pretend that we are!)

Picture this: a round-table discussion where everyone gets a turn at expressing themselves, each thought as important as another.

Now, imagine a group of kids sitting cross-legged in a reading circle on the floor, the teacher right there alongside them, and the kids all scrunched up as close to that teacher and book as they can be.

It is pretty obvious which groups shall enjoy the discussion in each scenario - and willingly come back for more!

I asked myself this question: Do you like it when people talk "at" you or would you rather they talk "with" you? To keep my own conversational skills in check, today I read a great article about communication. I equated the information for working relationships with that of my desire for children to read books.

If I want kids to read, I cannot just throw the book at them. I need to get in there with those kids and have us reading TOGETHER. This means permitting them to turn the page before I'm ready or to turn it back because they need to hear it again. It means allowing them to interject their exclamations of excitement or (heaven forbid) their dismay.

By paying attention to those in the reading circle I will learn as much about them as they will about the book. And what I do with this knowledge shall determine the outcome of my wish to encourage kids to read.

Take a book off the shelf and read with your children. Talk about the book with them. Sometimes these conversations are ever so much more valuable than the story itself at the moment.

If we do this, we can rest assured that more often than not a child will eventually read the book - and the child will eagerly return for another!


Image source: Reading Together: Everything You Need to Know to Raise a Child Who Loves to Read

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ruthi Reads Books For Kids

Welcome, kids of all ages, to Ruthi Reads Books For Kids! The concentration on this blog shall be that of reading, reviewing, and raving about books for children from the age group of birth to 12 years old.

I want you all to know, though, that I believe books to be golden for adults too.

Each time I pick up one of the Little Golden Books Classics for re-reading, I am spirited off to a wonderful place of make-believe and my childish imagination runs wild.

Then, too, I often become engrossed in a new perspective of a book, the words or rhyme now enlightened by reason born of real life and living, as with when I recently read The Three Little Pigs for review purposes.

John Denver describes my feelings towards children and books best in his folk song Rhymes and Reasons.


I believe books for kids to be like the flowers - pure and sweet as the driven snow - and I wish this fact for every child of the earth to know as they read and grow.

One of my greatest pleasures is that of an author of a book for children to send me a signed copy of his or her latest publication. I enjoy the reading, the reviewing, and the raving about the book and the author.

You are sure to be introduced to many great authors and books here. That is my promise to you and to the children in your life.

Until we meet again ... Read, Review, Rave!