Monday, April 18, 2011

The Beloved Library

The Mummy Bit...

Being a big believer in reading to babies, I started to read to mine in the womb. Yes, a little bit extreme, I know, but it helped me to keep the habit going despite all the many challenges of starting out with a newborn. We also began visiting the library regularly to change books. I can't rave enough about how great the library system is and how fantastic to be able to enjoy such a vast array of books at no cost. We have been borrowing board books, picture books, CDs and parenting books and magazines.

Our library also has story time for under school aged children, and Giggle and Wiggle for the babies.

The Teacher Bit...

I never cease to be amazed by how much my students enjoy their visits to the school library. They get so absorbed in their search for books of interest and they love to share their finds with their friends. They love to be exposed to great reads and to seek out books by the same author.

Selecting Good Books

One way of selecting good books to read is the trial and error, quick flick method. We have found a few gems this way including Isabella's Garden by Glenda Millard and Rebecca Cool and You and Me by Giovanni Manna. We've also walked by the display table on the way to the door and picked out a couple this way too.

Another (perhaps more efficient) way is to draw from book lists of recommended books. I purchased Don't Leave Childhood Without... A guide to the best books for children and have been working my way through the books listed. I log onto my library's website from home and request items from the list. The library texts me when they arrive and then I just pop in to pick them up. (Much easier than trying to find the books by looking through the shelves myself!) I've used this book when teaching to find a novel my students might enjoy hearing read aloud. 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up is another resource that could be helpful for this.

Of course, it's also nice to see some of the newer books that are coming out, and to go with a few that are being noticed for awards. The Children's Book Council of Australia is a great source for these gems, although it may be more difficult to get your hands on a copy through the library system.

In wrapping up...

Don't forget the beloved library as a resource for encouraging children to develop a love of reading. It is free and convenient, offering a great range of material.

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