When my children were young, the mantra I heard from the school community was all about getting young kids ready to read, or “reading ready.”
To do that, it was highly encouraged to read to kids 20 minutes a day. The idea was that “learning to read,” would provide the foundation that they would need in later grades when they would be “reading to learn.”
As a high school educator, I cannot say how true and important this goal is. It’s hard for students to focus on new ideas as they are being taught new content, if they are struggling to read what’s on the page. Thus, today’s post features three books that can be a part of building a foundation for raising readers who are excited for what comes next: structured reading, writing, and learning in classrooms.
Hide and Seek, Nuts to Eat written by Tracy C. Gold, illustrated by Nancy Leschnikoff (Sourcebooks eXplore 2023)
Kids love rhyme, and I can’t think of a better way to hook them on to reading and writing at a young age than with books like this one. It rhymes well and delivers an energetic, familiar, and interesting topic – Squirrels! Along with their interactions as they store food for winter. With interesting and fun facts interspersed throughout the story, the added STEM component makes this story especially attractive for sharing with young readers.
Love for the written word begins at home. Treat your kids to a lifetime of reading and learning with this book!
Find more rhyming books for young readers from Tracy C Gold's website.
How to Hatch a Reader written by Kari Gonzalez, illustrated by Rachel Suzanne (Gnome Road Books 2023)
Who doesn’t love chickens? I certainly do! So it begs the question, why teach not them to read? Better yet, why not teach them to read right alongside the kiddos in your life? I absolutely adore this story, which turn learning to read on its head, by providing a how-to guide for chickens, which coincidently, mirrors a how-to guide for kids!
Kids will love the humorous puns in this unique story. They'll recognize reading strategies they learn in school, and they will enjoy sounding out familiar words alongside their feathered friends. C-l-u-c-k!
Learn more at Kari Gonzalez's website.
Animals in Surprising Shades. Poems About Earth’s Colorful Creatures written by Susan Johnston Taylor, illustrated by Annie Bakst (Gnome Road Publishing 2023)
The appeal for poetry in all its forms continues today with this amazing title. Not only are young readers introduced to an array of unique and interesting animals, they are also introduced to a variety of different poetic forms.
From the five-lined Gogyohka poem that takes on the topic of the "Ghost Crab," to the Japanese Tanka poem that tackles the "Green Sea Slug," to the concrete poem that takes the shape of its subject, which in this case is the "Pink Manta Ray," young readers and writers are treated to a literary feast of possibilities.
There is plenty to inspire creative young readers to write their own poetry in this book, while enjoying a wonderful collection about colorful creatures.
Learn more at Susan Johnston Taylor's website.
1) a signed copy of Hide and Seek, Nuts to Eat (US address) from Tracy C. Gold
2) an AMA or virtual classroom visit with Kari Gonzalez
3) a signed copy of Animals in Surprising Shades (US address) or custom sell-sheet for a self published or traditionally published author from Susan Johnston Taylor
How do you earn entries?
1) ✔ Reply to each blog post with a comment = 1 entry
2) ✔ Share on social media = 1 entry for each share (let me know where you shared)
@SKWenger on X
@skwenger on Blue Sky
@SKWenger_books on Instagram
@SKWengerChildrensAuthor on FB
3) ✔ Ask your library to order the books = 1 entry for each (let me know you did this!)
4) ✔ Post a review on Goodreads, Amazon, or BN = 1 entry each (let me know you did this!)
Lastly, be sure to follow the authors and myself on social media so that you can be connected if you win!
Winners are selected November 2nd, so there is plenty of time to participate.