35 posts categorized "Baby Bookworm" Feed

A Litmus Test for Books that Work for My Daughter

I have, in the course of my reading as a Cybils judge, discovered an easy way to tell when a book isn't working for my daughter. We read it once (she'll listen to almost anything once), and then a couple of days later I again place it in the stack of potential bedtime books. (I generally create the stack, and she chooses what gets read, though if my selections are particularly poor she will get out bed and go look for something else.)

If she looks at the book and says: "I already read that one," I know that the book did not impress. Because the books that she LIKES? Those we can read over and over (and over) again. (We read a set of 11 Fly Guy books 3 times each over two days this weekend.) "I already read that one" is a dead giveaway. This is not to say that the "I already read that one" titles are bad books. But they certainly aren't books that hold appeal for my particular 4.5 year old daughter. 

The important point here, I think, is that as parents, we should be listening to how our kids respond to books. I personally never try to get my daughter to give a book another try (well, not without waiting a few months, anyway). If she doesn't like it, we move on. There are plenty of other books in the world. Plenty of other books within arm's reach at almost any given time, to be honest.

Sharon Levin had a good post today at her blog, Life, Literature, Laughter, on How To Get Your Child to STOP/HATE Reading. She points to parents who stop their children from reading the books that they love (e.g. graphic novels, because they aren't "real" books, etc. You all know the drill). Sharon talks about giving kids the power to choose what they read, and this I strongly agree with.  

Katherine Sokolowski also had a lovely post today about her belief that every child can learn to love books, but how kids who are raised by parents who love books have an advantage. But she also talks about nurturing those readers through times when life (or the love of video games) intervenes, and they need a little help to keep" this connection (with books) afloat". 

Me, I do worry about some future day when my daughter is too busy or too jaded or too grown up to want me to read to her. But for now, what I can do is hear her subtext when she says "I already read that", and find her something more appealing. It's all about keeping reading fun.  

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

Yes, She Is My Daughter: Growing a Bookworm

Two days ago my daughter came to me with a Berenstain Bears book, and begged me to get her a copy of a book shown on the back cover (The Berenstain Bears Sleepover). I agreed, subject to some behavior conditions, and ordered the book from Amazon. I told her that it would be here in two days (the beauty of Amazon Prime). 

Now, for the past two days she has been asking me, at regular intervals: "Is my book here yet?" Today the mail came, and UPS came, and the book did not come. My daughter arrived home from an outing and immediate asked me: "Did my book come?". She was crushed when the answer was no, even though I told her that there was still time for another package to arrive. I had to distract her with another "new" book from my review shelf. 

Here's the thing: she has literally hundreds of books in her bedroom alone. She has a huge bag of library books in the family room. But this is not enough. It has to be THIS particular book that she has her eye on. The Berenstain Bears Sleepover is the one she wants, and she wants it now. 

Yes, this is my kid. I do the exact same thing. I have an overflowing stack of books from publishers, and I still order, and pay for, particular titles that I HAVE to have. 

Readers will be happy to know that while my daughter was off on another outing, the book did come. She came to visit me in my office when she got home, and I told her that the book was in the kitchen. She ran down the stairs, literally panting with excitement, screaming: "It came! It came! It came!".

This book cost me $3.59. The rewards of seeing her so excited about the arrival of the book that she wanted? Priceless. Don't ever let anyone tell you that choice is not essential to growing bookworms. 

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate.

New Fancy Nancy Books Bring Joy

The arrival of a box of new Fancy Nancy books generated considerable excitement in my house this week. My four-year-old daughter actually delayed her departure for her first-ever soccer practice (something that she was VERY excited about) to finish reading Fancy Nancy: Sand Castles and Sand Palaces.

Later, before she would go to sleep, we had to read the new picture book Fancy Nancy and the Wedding of the Century AND all six titles in Fancy Nancy's Fabulous Fall Storybook Collection, as well as the newest copy of Fancy Nancy and the Fall Foliage (which we already had a copy of). The only title that we deferred reading for was Nancy Clancy: Secret of the Silver Key, which was dismissed, rightly, as "too old" (but which I have saved for later). 

I did not object. My daughter's preferred format for books these days is paperback. You know the sort of books I'm talking about: Berenstain Bears, Little Critter, and various TV-spinoff books in thin, square packages. She especially likes it when there are stickers included in the books. But she'll read them anyway, without the stickers.Those that have pictures of other books from the series on the back cover are particular favorites - she is constantly bringing those to me to request additional titles. (Happily, these books only cost $3-$5 each, so I sometimes use them as rewards for aspirational behaviors). Paperback early readers are also favorites. 

BookRackPhoto2As a parent, I have come to appreciate these paperbacks. They are lightweight, and it's easy to take them on trips or in the car. Because they are inexpensive, I don't worry about them being damaged. And they fit quite nicely in my new breakfast table toast rack / book rack. However, I do (silently) lament the fact that by focusing on these titles, my daughter is missing out on the richer vocabulary of more traditional picture books. And this is why the arrival of new Fancy Nancy books brings joy to me, as well as to my daughter. Because the Fancy Nancy books are chock-full of rich vocabulary words, all defined in the text.

My daughter knows what "foliage" is because of Nancy. She knows what a "banquet" is, and what "translucent" means. She has learned these words painlessly, because Nancy uses them. And because Nancy is "fancy", delighting in swirling tutus, glittery Thanksgiving turkeys, and accessories of all colors, Nancy feels like a friend, not a teacher. The books are not didactic, though there may be a lesson or two to be absorbed here or there, and they often make my daughter giggle. 

I should also add that although the new paperbacks are destined to be read more in the short-term (taken on trips, etc.), the hardcover of Fancy Nancy's Fabulous Fall Storybook Collection is a particular delight. This is a compendium of six previously-published stories, at least one of which we already have. But the table of contents, from which one can pick which story to read first, makes my daughter feel grown-up. She refers to the stories as "chapters", and feel that she is reading a big girl chapter book. For those titles that don't fit into the format of this square book, there are wide patterned borders on each page, with sketches of leaves, and a foliage-friendly palette. 

A celebration of words, in a four-year-old-girl-friendly package, that's what the Fancy Nancy books are to me. To my daughter, they are just fun. And that's exactly what I'm looking for. 

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

Books at the Breakfast Table

BookRackPhotoZoe Toft at Playing by the Book shared a fun post a couple of weeks ago about sneaking in books at breakfast by using toast racks as book storage. I was immediately charmed by this idea, and had to try it myself. Toast racks are more common in the UK, where Zoe lives, than they are here in California, but I was able to find one on Amazon. This rack, stocked with some of our books, is shown to the left. After filling it, I placed it on my kitchen table, next to where my daughter (age four) usually sits.

I'm pleased to report that the book rack has been a hit. My daughter is not reading on her own, and she has lately shown reluctance to even look at books by herself. She wants to be read to, and that's that. So, she won't pick out books from the book rack and flip through them herself while she is eating breakfast, which would have been my first choice.

However, having the books there in front of her all the time has prompted her to ask to be read to more often. During breakfast or lunch, or after dinner (because I draw the line at actually interrupting dinner to read to her), she'll ask for a book or two or three from whichever adult is most handy. Since the outcome has been that we read more books to her, I will call this experiment a success. But now I'm going to have an extra task to restock the rack every few days...I am getting a bit tired of Glasses for D.W.

What storage techniques have you used to keep books accessible to your kids? 

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.  

A Tip for Nurturing Developing Readers: Take Away A Possible Fear

My daughter just turned four in April. She loves to be read to, and we are in no rush whatsoever for her to learn to read on her own. But I've noticed lately that she's sometimes resistant to even flipping through the pages of a book on her own (say, in the car). She'll say: "I can't read yet, Mommy." And it struck me that there was something defensive about this.

So this morning something came up about books (as is not uncommon in our house), and she remarked that if she was going to read a book it would have to be easy. I was inspired to say: "You know, even if you learn to read, we will still read to you. Whenever you like, for as long as you like." Huge smile, big hug, and, perhaps, a look of relief. 

I may be projecting here. It's not that she came out and said: "I'm afraid that if I learn to read you guys won't read to me anymore. And I like it when you read to me." Rather, I've put together fleeing impressions based on her responses to things (including a diminishing interest when I point out individual words when we are reading together). But it's certainly possible that I'm right, and that she's been cautious about the idea of learning more words because she doesn't want us to stop reading to her. This is a fear that I am more than happy to take away.  

So, that is my tip for other parents of developing young readers:

Take a moment to assure your child that even if he learns to read on his own, you will still read to him. 

Then, of course, stay true to your word. There are so many benefits to continuing to read aloud to your children after they can read on their own. You can read them more advanced titles, thus enhancing their vocabularies and giving them exposure to ideas. You can use the books as a springboard to discussions about all sorts of things. And you can experience parent-child closeness, snuggled up together over the pages of a book. 

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

The Library in My Daughter's Room

On Sunday the Easter Bunny brought my daughter a book (among other things). When asked how the Easter Bunny could have known that she liked books, she said: "He would just have to look in my room. There's about a million books in there." When her father responded that, yes, she practically had a mini library in their, she got a little gleam in her eye. Without missing a beat she told us: "When I am 10 or 8 I'm going to have a real library in my room."

Over dinner, we fleshed out the whole plan. The requirement to wait until she is 10 or 8 quickly fell by the wayside. Here are some highlights:

  • Kids will be able to borrow books Anyone checking out books now will be able to check out four books (because she is four), but by the time she is 25 they will be able to check out 25 books.
  • She will hold separate storytimes for boys and for girls (though she plans to read them the same books). 
  • We discussed sending out invitations to all of her friends to visit the library, and even made a list of which friends would receive invites. (Though we did not actually get to the point of making the invitations.)

When she proposed that we move to the middle of the country, so that it would be easier for her cousins to also visit the library, we decided that things had gotten out of hand, and we moved onto something else. But not before she declared her new "what I'm going to be when I grow up" plan. She's going to be a doctor and a librarian. When she's not busy taking care of patients, she can read books to people. 

I thought that those of you who've been following this blog might appreciate this little window into the evolving life of a Baby Bookworm. If you give a kid "about a million" books, and make time to read them, you might end up having to let her open a library one day. 

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon Affiliate. 

A Few Recent Baby Bookworm Literacy Moments

My Baby Bookworm is not such a baby anymore. She turned four this weekend (with much celebration, and many cupcakes). So far, our efforts to ensure that she loves books seem to be paying off. Here are a few recent tidbits. 

We were very nearly late for her birthday party (which we held out at her gymnastics place), because she wanted me to read her "just one more" Little Critter book. We incidentally let each child select a book as a party favor. The Fancy Nancy books were the most popular.

She had to stop in the middle of opening presents to ask Daddy to read her the newly unwrapped Mo Willems book (The Pigeon Needs a Bath). Yes, I did get that on video. When things do not go her way, she says: "Hmmpf." She does not seem to realize that she picked this up from the Pigeon. But we do. 

She has started using words like "mischievous" when describing the behavior of her dolls . She doesn't always use big words correctly, but she is clearly trying. 

As for me, I find it rewarding (if occasionally inconvenient) that she requests to have books read aloud at all hours of the day. We've also learned that when she becomes particularly insistent about us reading to her around dinnertime, it means that she is extra-tired. She wants to get her books in before she falls asleep. Because that's what bookworms, whether babies or not, do. 

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate.

All the Mo Willems Books

MoWillemsBooksMy daughter decided last night that before falling asleep, she wanted to read "all the Mo Willems books." She headed over to the bookshelf (well, one of many bookshelves, but this is the one where most of Mo's books live in our house), and started pulling them down. It took her a couple of trips, fully laden, to get them over to the bed. And then she commanded: "Read!"

We ended up reading three Elephant & Piggie books and two Pigeon books. We didn't get to the three Knuffle Bunny books last night, but they were in the stack, and are much-loved, too. We also have a couple of stand alone titles (That is NOT a Good Idea and Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs), but these don't register for her so much as having been written by Mo. What she LOVES is looking for the Pigeon on the inside back cover of the Elephant & Piggie books. She has a stuffed Pigeon, too. She sees these books as a whole universe of fun.  

The other night she was getting cranky around bedtime, as she is wont to do. She protested: "I'm NOT tired." Then, before I could anything she added "And I am NOT the Pigeon." This is because usually when she claims to not be tired we say: "OK, Pigeon." Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late hits the nail on the head better than any other book I can think of.  

I guess all of this is a long-winded way for me to say that if you have a preschooler or early elementary schooler in your house, and you have somehow not discovered the works of Mo Willems, you simply MUST remedy this. Your local library should have plenty of Mo's books, and that's a great place to start. Scholastic also has packages sometimes in the Reading Club, giving you access to less expensive paperback versions. But whatever you do, get your hands on some of these fabulous books.

I think the key to the success of all of Willems' various series and standalones lies in his keen understanding of universal child (and parent) behaviors. My daughter nods her head when Elephant and Piggie are crying over Piggie's broken toy, and says: "She's crying because of her toy. He's crying because of her." She just gets the interactions and expressions of the characters instinctively. She clutches her own beloved blanket a little when Trixie loses Knuffle Bunny. She giggles when the Pigeon says "I never get to do ANYTHING" because she knows that she has said something similar mere moments before. 

Of course it helps that the books are fun, too! What say you, readers? Do your kids ask for "all of the Mo Willems books", too? 


This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

A Tip for Growing Bookworms: Avoid Bookshaming

A post at the Nerdy Book Club this week really made me think. Priscilla Thomas, an 11th grade teacher, wrote about the repercussions of what she called "bookshaming". Thomas says:

"To be clear, opinion and disagreement are important elements of literary discourse. Bookshaming, however, is the dismissive response to another’s opinion. Although it is sometimes justified as expressing an opinion that differs from the norm, or challenging a popular interpretation, bookshaming occurs when “opinions” take the form of demeaning comments meant to shut down discourse and declare opposing viewpoints invalid."

She goes on to enumerate five ways that bookshaming (particularly by teachers) can thwart the process of nurturing "lifelong readers." I wish that all teachers could read this post. 

But of course I personally read this as a parent. Thomas forced me to consider an incident that had taken place in my household a couple of weeks ago. We were rushing around to get out of the house to go somewhere, but my daughter asked me to read her a book first. The book she wanted was Barbie: My Fabulous Friends! (which she had picked out from the Scholastic Book Fair last fall). 

I did read this book about Barbie and her beautiful, multicultural friends. But at the end I made some remark about it being a terrible book. And even as I said it, I KNEW that it was the wrong thing to say. Certainly, it is not to my taste. It's just little profiles of Barbie's friends - no story to speak of. But my daughter had picked out this book from the Book Fair, and she had liked it enough to ask me to read it to her. She seemed to be enjoying it. And I squashed all of that by criticizing her taste.

Two weeks later, I am still annoyed with myself. Priscilla Thomas' article helped me to better understand why. She said: "When we make reading about satisfying others instead of our own enjoyment and education, we replace the joy of reading with anxiety." What I WANT is for my daughter to love books. And if I have to grit my teeth occasionally over a book that irritates me, so what? 

Rather than continue to beat myself up over this, I have resolved to be better. The other night I read without a murmur The Berenstain Bears Come Clean for School by Jan and Mike Berenstain, which is basically a lesson on how and why to avoid spreading germs at school. As I discussed here, that same book has helped my daughter to hone her skills in recommending books. It is not a book I would have ever selected on my own. But I'm going to hold on to the image of my daughter flipping to the last page of the book, face shining, to tell me how funny the ending was. 

Growing bookworms is about teaching our children to love reading (see a nice post by Carrie Gelson about this at Kirby Larson's blog). They're not going to love reading if we criticize their tastes, and make them feel anxious or defensive. I'm sorry that I did that to my daughter over the Barbie book, and I intend to do my best not to do that again. If this means reading 100 more Barbie books over the next couple of years, so be it. Of course I can and will introduce her to other authors that are more to my own taste, to see which ones she likes. But I will respect her taste, too. 

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate.

A Few Valentine's Day Picture Books from Harper Collins

My three year old is getting excited for Valentine's Day. It is, after all, the next holiday coming up. And there will be chocolate involved. But in truth, much of her excitement was sparked by a box of Valentine's Day-themed picture books and early readers that Harper Collins sent us last week. They're not all my personal cup of hot chocolate, but my child is thrilled. 

Far and away the most exciting of the books for her is Pete the Cat: Valentine's Day is Cool, by Kimberly and James Dean. In this story, Pete initially thinks that Valentine's Day isn't "cool." However, encouraged by his friend Callie, he gets on board with using valentines to tell people how special they are. By the end of the book he's making valentines for the school bus driver and other people he encounters throughout his day. Pretty classic Pete the Cat storyline, all in all. But there is a pull-out poster, as well as stickers, and a set of tear-out valentine cards. This turned out to not be a great bedtime book, because my daughter was so excited by all of this. She just came in to my office needing help finding the cards, which I imagine she wants to give to her friends. I do like the "show people you appreciate them" message, delivered in a light-hearted fashion. 

My daughter also enjoyed Foxy in Love by Emma Dodd. We have not read Foxy, for which this book is a sequel. But the premise comes across fairly quickly. Foxy is a fox who can conjure things with a wave of his magical tail, though he doesn't always quite understand what his friend, a girl named Emily, wants from him. In Foxy in Love, Foxy comes across Emily as she is working on a valentine. He suggests that she draw what she loves in the card, hoping that she'll draw him. But instead, she focuses on things like balloons and rainbows. Not until the end of the book does Foxy finally tell Emily that "Valentine's Day is not about what you love... It's about who you love." Of course it all ends happily. Foxy's longing to be loved actually comes across in relatively subtle fashion throughout the book, and there is plenty of humor as he tries, with mixed results, to conjure the things that Emily wants (not tarts, hearts!). I think we'll keep this one in our arsenal. 

The first book that my daughter actually picked up from this box was Little Critter: Just A Little Love, an I Can Read book by Mercer Mayer. She adores Little Critter, and I've come to appreciate the humor in the differences between what he says is happening and what the pictures show. The expressions on the faces of the characters, particularly Mom and Dad, are often priceless (as when Dad looks rueful after Little Critter causes a flood in a gas station restroom). Just A Little Love is not actually a Valentine's Day book at all, though it certainly works for the season. Rather, the family members (pets included) have a series of mishaps as they set out to visit Grandma, who isn't feeling well. Each time someone ends up unhappy, someone else "gives him (or her) a little love." There's not enough of a storyline for this one to end up a favorite for us, I don't think, but one can't really argue with a book that makes us laugh, and in which family members console one another. 

It's Valentine's Day by Jack Prelutsky & Marylin Hafner is a level 3 I Can Read! book, full of love-themed poems. It's fairly text-dense, with a small illustration or two on each page. My daughter lost interest after the second poem. It's more a book for elementary school kids than preschoolers, it seems. But I thought that the poems, on subjects like how pets respond to receiving valentines, and how a child might be tempted to eat all of the chocolates that he bought for his mother, were clever and funny. This is a nice introduction to poetry for new readers, with colorful illustrations to make the book more accessible.

Love Is Real by Janet Lawler & Anna Brown is a picture book for the youngest listeners about all of the little things that people (well, animals doing human-type things) do that show their love for one another. Like this: "Love awakes... and helps you dress. Love will clean up any mess." These sentences are accompanied by three different images, each showing a different kind of animal parent helping his or her child (bunny, bear, fox). The same three families are followed throughout the book. The children sometimes are the ones who do things that express love. For us, this book skewed a bit young / sentimental. But the digital collage illustrations are fun. 

Finally, we read Tulip Loves Rex by Alyssa Satin Capucilli & Sarah Massini. Tulip Loves Rex is a picture book about a little girl who loves dancing, and dances everywhere, but has one unfulfilled wish. One day in the park she encounters a dog who, miraculously, loves to dance, too. And it turns out that this perfect-for-Tulip dog needs a home. I quite liked Massini's breezy illustrations, and I liked Tulip as a character, but the convenience of the ending felt a little flat for me. The parents "didn't mind a bit" bringing home a large stray dog from the park? Really? Perhaps I just don't want my daughter to get any ideas... 

All in all, though, these books are a welcome addition to our February reading.  Wishing you a happy run-up to Valentine's Day (or Balentine's Day, as it's called around here). 

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate. 

Recent Highlights in Our Read-Aloud Journey

We haven't had anything that I would quite call a milestone of late in my three-year-old daughter's journey towards literacy. But we have had some fun moments:

Last night my daughter asked me why she doesn't have a bubble over her head when she thinks. I must attribute this to seeing bubbles over people's heads in picture books. She's also still working to understand why she can see the people in books and movies, but they can't see her. 

This weekend my husband was reading to her in bed. I was down in the kitchen. I could just hear the murmur of his voice. Every couple of minutes I would hear my daughter, much louder, chime in with "there was the mouse!". Yes, they were reading A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker & Kady MacDonald Denton. When I reviewed this book back in 2008, I enthused about it's read-aloud potential, and the fact that "I (couldn't) read the book without saying that phrase out loud." To have my initial reaction validated six years later by my own delighted three-year-old is ... satisfying, to say the least. This book remains one of my favorite read-alouds.

She was admittedly in a silly mood last night, but she was positively hysterical with laughter over The Chicken Problem by Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson (review here). Also, to a slightly lesser extent, Jeff Mack's Ah Ha! While these may not, in retrospect, have been good choices for bedtime books, I love it when she gets the humor in books. 

We also read Extra Yarn, by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen last night (and this morning). I've always respected what Barnett was trying to do with this book, and I do love Klassen's illustrations. But I never loved Extra Yarn for some reason (though many people, including last year's Caldecott committee, do). But I have to say that my daughter was rapt, and asked again for "the yarn book" first thing this morning. She loved the magic of the yarn box that never emptied, and she liked predicting what would qualify for a new sweater next. She noticed things in the illustrations that I had missed (or not remembered, anyway). I still don't adore this book myself, but I love that my three-year-old has her own opinions. 

That's all for now. What moments have you been enjoying on your family's read-aloud journey?

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

Further Evidence that Keeping Books Nearby Increases Reading Time

We are usually in a bit of a rush on the mornings that my daughter goes to preschool. While she is eating breakfast, I am running around getting her schoolbag ready, putting things in the dishwasher, etc. But this morning, I happened to have a stack of picture books on the kitchen table. I've been logging the books that we read aloud since the beginning of the year, and I hadn't had a chance to enter last night's stack yet (I enter them into a sidebar list using my phone, and then copy them over periodically into a regular page).

Thus, a stack of five books was sitting on the table. My eagle-eyed daughter spotted them, and asked me to read to her while she was eating breakfast. I said: "Just one. I have to get dressed." She picked the most text-dense one (A Baby Elephant in the Wild by Caitlin O'Connell & Timothy Rodwell, upcoming from @HMHBooks). 

After we finished that one, she managed to finagle two more books out of me: Where's Walrus by Stephen Savage and A Home for Bird by Philip C. Stead. We ended up being about 15 minutes later for school than I might have hoped.

But, being the aspiring mother of a young bookworm, I thought to myself, "Hmmm, guess I should keep a bigger stack on the table for days when we don't have to rush off to school." It's not like I haven't seen this recommendation in lots of places ("keep books in the kitchen"). It's not like I've never read to my daughter during meals. We just haven't made it a habit. (Truth: I am addicted to reading the paper.)

But this morning's performance really drove this point home for me. Breakfast is an opportunity for squeezing in some extra reading time. It's a chance to listen again to the book that she fell asleep to last night. It feels like a special treat.

As a side benefit, my daughter ate a better breakfast than she usually does, because she was trying to show me that she wasn't finished eating, so I would keep reading. 

All in all, further evidence that if you keep books handy, everywhere, you are bound to end up reading more. 

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate.